Former president of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) and SA Rugby senior vice-president, Ronnie Masson, died on Monday.
SA Rugby confirmed the news in a statement released on Tuesday, with the organisation’s current president Mark Alexander paying his respects.
“Masson was the first WP president after unification and he also brought a lot of business acumen to local rugby at a time when the game went fully professional in the mid-90s,” the statement read.
“Furthermore, he was a part of the SA Rugby structures when commercial activities really took off at the turn of the century and the governing body established a full professional arm.”
Alexander praised Masson for his contributions to South African rugby.
“Ronnie was a vastly experienced and distinguished rugby administrator and businessman, and he played a huge role at a difficult time during our rugby history, especially in mending and building relationships during his nine years in office,” said Alexander.
“Through his vast experience from working at Sanlam, he could guide both SA Rugby and Western Province through some turbulent waters and his role in changing the face of the game in South Africa will never be forgotten.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones in this very difficult time and we hope that they will be able to find solace in some wonderful and cherished memories of Ronnie.”
??? A man who left an indelible mark on SA Rugby and in Western Province, Mr Ronnie Masson, has passed away
??? “He played a huge role at a difficult time during our rugby history” – Mr Mark Alexander