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Rugby’s First Abramovich ?

Rugby’s First Abramovich ?

Anybody in London with a club to spare who is looking for loadsa dosh will be interested in an article that appeared in a South African newspaper about a businessman with loads ‘n loads of rand

The South African presence in English club rugby could be extended if former Bok captain Bobby Skinstad’s bid to buy a club in Britain is successful.

Skinstad, backed by Stellenbosch billionaire Johann Rupert, is hoping to establish an English club to be called London Tribe. Skinstad has been playing club rugby in Wales since quitting the Cats last year.

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The proposed London Tribe club will have a respected rugby chairman in Sean Fitzpatrick, the former All Blacks captain.

If the new club were to be founded it would need the approval of the English RFU with the likelihood that the club starts off as a First Division entity and then have to move up into the English Premier League.

Johann Rupert, – who will celebrate his 54th birthday on June 1st – the man with the money to make the new project happen has recently taken over the day-to-day running of the South African conglomerate Rembrandt, which his father Dr Anton Rupert built up from a small tobacco company.

Before joining the Rembrandt empire, Mr Rupert worked for Chase Manhattan and Lazard Freres in New York for two and three years respectively. Using the experience he gained in America, he returned to South Africa to head up the international arm of Rand Merchant Bank.

Since joining the family business, he has diversified the Rembrandt empire from its base in tobacco and alcohol products into expanding foreign markets. As a result of this expansion he has formed Richemont, of which he is Managing Director.