Rugby candidate warned of tough Africa elections


Outgoing Africa Rugby vice president, Dave Gilbert has warned his counterpart, Sean Irish that it will be tough to land a continental post.

Irish who is Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) acting president, is a candidate for additional member at the upcoming Rugby Africa general assembly. The assembly will be held on March 2, in Marrakech, Morocco.

Gilbert told Mmegi Sport that they have received a high number of candidates for various positions.

“In Africa, people vote for you if they have known and seen what you have been doing.

For a guy like Sean, I am not saying that he is not capable at all, but I am saying the visibility aspect, it might be difficult for him to get in because people in Northern and Central Africa do not know him,” Gilbert said.

He said the same applies to other new candidates from Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“People would be presenting their credentials and there would be a lot of talking and we take it from there. It would be a nice elective assembly for me because I would be controlling the elections,” he said. “I do not have to worry about anything, be it knives thrown on my back or politicking. It is a good thing for Rugby Africa because we have new faces showing interest.”

Meanwhile, Gilbert will not be seeking re-election as his term comes to an end. Rugby Africa president, Moroccan Abdelaziz Bougja is also stepping down after 17 years at the helm.

Gilbert said he decided to step down due to a number of reasons.

“I can no longer stand for the same position because my eight year term has elapsed. The logical thing for me to do was to stand for presidency. It is a big commitment in terms of my time, traveling and to do it properly it needs a lot of traveling,” he said.

Gilbert said he has a family and a business that he has to look after. He added that rugby is not going to be his pension but, instead, his business will be.

“I had to weigh this carefully and I have passion for rugby, which I have not lost. I have done my part and I have had my time there. It is time for young people to come in and run rugby, taking it to another level,” Gilbert added.

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