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Pieter de Villiers with Louis KoenA new high performance ‘think-tank’ of top rugby coaches has been established by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to assist elite teams at all age levels of the game

The ground-breaking initiative for South African rugby will see a contracted team of specialist coaches in the ‘HP Mobi-Unit’ visit franchises, SARU national teams and even schools teams to share cutting-edge rugby knowledge.

“We are very excited about this new initiative,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

“Historically, SARU have taken a ‘hands off’ approach to coaching interventions at the elite level. That was exclusively left to the provincial unions.

“But times have changed and as the game has become more technical and more analytical, the resources required to keep up to date have exploded. SARU can pool the resources we have in our national coaching panels as well as offer access to the considerable rugby knowledge we have on our staff.”

The HP Mobi-Unit is the brainchild of Rassie Erasmus, who was appointed as SARU’s General Manager of High Performance in 2012.

He has contracted specialist consultants into the Mobi-Unit to cover key areas of play:

Pieter de Villiers, the former French international prop, will concentrate on scrumming

Louis Koen, former Springbok flyhalf, will be responsible for the tactics and practice of kicking play

Chean Roux, former Stormers looseforward and title-winning University of Stellenbosch coach, will be responsible for technical analysis

Jacques Nienaber, the highly-regarded DHL Stormers defensive coach, will advise on defensive play. Nienaber’s involvement will, however, only be outside of the DHL Stormers’ Vodacom Super Rugby commitments.

Rassie Erasmus, former Springbok looseforward and Absa Currie Cup-winning Free State Cheetahs coach, will concentrate on lineouts, gameplan and performance analysis.

“We have a massive amount of rugby expertise contracted to SARU through our national teams and in our offices, but it has been under utilised in the past,” said Erasmus.

“What we’re now offering is a back up to coaches in the form of a pool of consultants in specialist areas who can share their considerable experience as well as pass on the latest thinking.

“This is a three-year project, which we hope will broaden the base of rugby knowledge at the elite level by opening a two-way conversation.

“Critically, by establishing a common approach to play at the elite level, we hope it will ultimately assist the Springbok coach in getting maximum value out of the short time he has to prepare teams for Test matches.”

The HP Mobi-Unit was in action this week at the Junior Springbok training camp with Koen, De Villiers, Roux and Erasmus all working with players and the coach Dawie Theron’s management team.

Other Springbok coaching and medical staff will be utilised on an ad hoc basis, Springbok commitments permitting.

Erasmus said that the Unit’s technical analysis of matches throughout the competition would be pooled with franchises.

“One of the criticisms of SARU in the past among franchise coaches was that they didn’t receive much technical rugby input from us,” said Roux.

“By establishing this unit we have created a vehicle for a knowledge transfer in two directions at once which will be for the benefit of all our teams and, most importantly, for the Springboks.”

6 Responses to Coaching ‘think-tank’ in SA

  • 1

    In SA we love Rugby, in NZ they love the All Blacks. Everything is AB centered. I hope this is a move in the same direction for the Boks.
    However I can’t help but think that SARU is pushing this innitiative now to help the Kings from totale skande…

  • 2

    I thought that Roux had undergone a full frontal lobotomy. How can he take part in ant THINK tank?

    Surely it’s an alien concept to the snake?

  • 3

    2 @ Scrumdown:
    It’s actually a THICK Tank and not a THINK Tank…. hehehe

  • 4

    Jurie Roux (JR) “Hi Heyneke, compliments of the season to you, good to see you back in one piece……Oh, whats wrong? It’s not that ‘choosing PdV over you last time’ saga again is it? I’ve said I was sorry, it was just a joke”
    Heyneke Meyer (HM) “No, sir, it’s that Rassie bully and his mate Louis. They just won’t stop teasing me. They’re so horrible. A couple of months ago, they told me to tell they boys to kick everything. ‘It was all the rage’, they said, ‘everyones doing it, and the public love it’. So I did. No sooner had I done it, than I saw them laughing uncontrollably at the bar together, and I just knew it was a set up. Then they told me that that blond bloke, oh, what is his name…….Lambie, thats it, they told me that he much preferred sitting on the bench, ’cause then he could do his hair and sign autographs’ – I believed them again. It’s just not fair.”
    JR “Well, son, thats most unfortunate, what are we to do?…….. I know, lets start up a bogus job where we send them off round the country, where they can take the piss out of John, Solly and Toetie, who I don’t like anyway, and they deserve to be brought down a peg or two. I’ll throw Nienaber into the pot as well, The Stormers have been doing far too well, and they’re making the rest of us look stupid, damn brokebackers!”
    HM “Oh, sir, and please send that french bloke as well, he keeps punching me on the arm, and it’s very sore. And I can’t understand a word he says with that funny accent”
    JR “Good idea. I’m also going to throw in Chean because he’s got a girly name, and we’re manne around here, hey, boytjie?
    HM “Ja, Oom”
    JR ” As a joke on them, we’ll let them get going for a month or two, and then, teeheehee, we’ll sommmer throw in PdV as media manager. Hahaha, that’ll stir the pot, what a laugh. Is there anyone else you want sorting sonny?”
    HM “Not really…….perhaps that horrible boy Just For Kicks………..?”

  • 5

    @ Just For Kicks:
    Very funny!

  • 6

    hehe, very good


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