Maritzburg Collegians rugby boss hits back

2009-09-24 00:00

TONY Day, chairman of PMB Collegians Rugby Club, has come out fighting in response to statements made by Midlands Rugby Sub Union president Piet Herbst in yesterday’s Witness.

Among other things, Herbst said: “It was the most diabolical” club AGM he had ever attended.

Herbst said a vote taken at the Collegians AGM to decide whether Collegians’ players will accept a new composite Midlands senior team to play in KZN league rugby “was 12-6 against the concept — that’s 18 Collegians players deciding the future”.

Day told The Witness that he “would like to point out a few facts”.

He said AGMs are notorious for poor player turnout.

“In 2008 we had to phone three players to make up a quorum of 20. This year we had 26 players in attendance. Furthermore, officials and coaches did not vote; the decision was left up to the players.”

Day said the reasons why he had said he would walk away from rugby if a Midlands was formed, included the following: there is no business plan in place to fund the new club; clubs may not be reimbursed for the KZNRU grant that they would lose if they had to drop down in the leagues; there is no coach or committee structure in place; the Midlands Rugby Academy was formed to help club rugby, not a Midlands Rugby Club; the Midlands U20A team’s position on the Frank Norris (KZN U20A) log has not altered in two years.

Day said he does not want to be remembered as the person in charge when a club that is 106 years old has to close.

“The MRA now has over 50 students. If they were filtered into the system as originally planned, maybe Varsity and Collegians would not find themselves in the trouble they are in.

“Collegians supplied 12 players to the MRSU team that won the Ebbo Bastard Trophy.

“Six of these players went on to represent the KZN Junior Clubs team and so with that more positive note from Collegians, we should be asking MRSU, ‘What can you do to help club rugby and not what can club rugby do to help you?’”

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