The appointment was approved by the Executive Council of SA Rugby, extending what had begun as a one-year appointment for the experienced administrator.

He was appointed at the start of 2023 in succession to long-term CEO, Jurie Roux, and has now been confirmed in the role until the end of 2025.

“The organisation is on the brink of a fundamental overhaul as we continue our discussions with potential private equity partners and now is the time for continuity,” said Mr Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union.

“Rian’s vast experience in rugby and business has seen him slot seamlessly back into a role he had previously held and he is the right person to be steering the ship as we chart a new course.”

Oberholzer, 63, was tournament director of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and CEO of SA Rugby between 1996 and 2003. He was the first CEO of SANZAR (South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby) and was a key administrator in the establishment of the Super Rugby and Rugby Championship (formerly Tri-Nations) tournaments. More recently he was appointed as administrator of the Western Province Rugby Football Union by SA Rugby.

Oberholzer also served on the Council of what was then International Rugby Board (now World Rugby) and was director of Rugby World Cup Limited. He founded and managed sports marketing and eventing companies after leaving SA Rugby.