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SA Rugby

Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

Stormers and Western Province coach Allister Coetzee is in high demand to coach in the Japanese league, according to reports.

Coetzee, who still has one year left on his contract with WP, is believed to be a strong candidate to replace Gary Gold as coach of the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in Japan. Gold is set to leave the Steelers to take up the role of Sharks Director of Rugby.

Meanwhile, WP’s Vodacom Cup and Under 21 coach, John Dobson, is also believed to be on the wish list of the EP Kings, while there is also interest in Dobson’s backline coach, Dawie Snyman.

Gert Smal, WP’s Director of Rugby, said they would like to keep all current coaches at the union for the next three years and are busy with negotiations.

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DHL StormersA 39-man DHL Stormers squad will depart for Hermanus on Tuesday afternoon for a four-day training camp ahead of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Scarra Ntubeni, Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen, Nizaam Carr and Damian de Allende – all of whom toured with the Springboks at the end of last year – will all travel to Hermanus, along with capped Springboks, Siya Kolisi, Juan de Jongh and Jaco Taute.

Props Wilco Louw and Frans van Wyk, both of whom are still eligible for the DHL Western Province Under-21 team, are amongst the new faces in the squad, joining flyhalf Robert du Preez, centres Johnny Kotze and Huw Jones and fullback EW Viljoen as the other newbies in the selection mix.

Du Preez, Kotze, Jones and Viljoen are all graduates of the DHL WP Under-21 set-up from 2014, along with hooker Michael Willemse, lock Jurie van Vuuren and loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe, all of whom had a brief taste of Super Rugby action in 2014.

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Cell C SharksThis is the third in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Sharks have lost the services of Anton Bresler (Edinburgh) and Peet Marais (Brive), between seasons, and have gained the services of Mouritz Botha (from Saracens) as well as the backup services of Giant Mtyanda. Stephan Lewies is still on a longer term injury list and should return somewhere in the middle of the tournament.

The early question raised is how Pieter-Steph du Toit will fare, coming back from injury.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the Cell C Sharks 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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Cell C SharksAs Super Rugby preparations are underway by all franchises early in January, a quick peek at some of the things popping out at the Cell C Sharks.

We take a quick look at Brendan Venter’s role while Gary Gold is still in Japan. Renaldo Bothma tells of his tremendous growth at the Sharks in pre-season and Giant Mtyanda is drafted in to train with the Sharks as extra lock cover.

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CheetahsSuper Rugby preparations is also underway in Bloemfontein, in anticipation of the 2015 season.

News is that Joe Pietersen who previously played at fullback for the Stormers and then went to France to try things there, is back at the Cheetahs… to exclusively play flyhalf. Pietersen is a product of Grey College in Bloemfontein.

Heinrich Brüssow, who is currently still in Japan with the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, before joining the Cheetahs for Super Rugby (as soon as his Japanese Club’s season ends) says that the standards of rugby in Japan has improved markedly.

The Cheetahs start their Super Rugby campaign with an away game against the Sharks in Durban on 14 February.

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Willem alberts

Willem alberts

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit and Willem Alberts are back training with the Sharks after long injury layoffs.

Lock Du Toit missed much of last season with a serious knee injury, while loose forward Alberts was laid low after a back operation last July.

The duo are back in training as the Sharks start their preparations for this year’s Super Rugby competition. Both have been training well and showed no discomfort from the injuries.

There was however less good news for lock Stephan Lewies, who will reportedly remain sidelined with injury for an extended period.

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Jimmy Stonehouse

Jimmy Stonehouse

After seven years at the helm of the Pumas, Jimmy Stonehouse will be leaving Nelspruit to ply his trade in Japan with the Toshiba Brave Lupus.

Stonehouse had been instrumental in the team being promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division in 2010 and again in 2014 while their promotion, and unbeaten run in the 2013 First Division competition, earned Stonehouse the SA Rugby Union’s Coach of the Year award.

He had been approached on three previous occasions by Japanese clubs, which he turned down, the latest being in February 2014 but he feels that it is the right time to move on and take on a new challenge.

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Super RugbyWith Super Rugby fast approaching it is important to have a look at what each of the teams are doing in their preparations and who they have at their disposal.

As the teams prepare for this brusing competition there is the oppourtunity to test out combanations as well as see how the new boys go.

The Sharks will travel to French champions Toloun to test out their game plan against the Galacticos of rugby while the Bulls will take on the Cheetahs in a traditional pre-season match in Polokwane.

The Australasian sides will also warm up against each other with the Highlanders setting up a comprehensive pre-season schedule due to the first round bye.

The ‘transfer market’ has made the upcoming Super Rugby season an exciting prospect with some big names in James O’Connor and Nick Cummins returning to Australia.

Menawhile, the Bulls have bolstered their squad with some excellent former Cheetahs players.

Finally, and unsurprizingly, Ma’a Nonu has made another move – this time back to the Hurricanes.

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This is the third article in the range of Bulls Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

We move deeper into the enjin room to the Locks. The Bulls have lost Paul Willemse and David Bullbring at lock for the 2015 season but of course Victor Matfield is sure to play Super Rugby this time around, whereas before the 2014 season that was not the case. Apart from Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe and Grant Hattingh, the Bulls will be able to call on the promising young Nico Janse van Rensburg as well as Marvin Orie in 2015.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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BullsSpringboks Pierre Spies, Arno Botha, Handré Pollard, Marcel van der Merwe and Adriaan Strauss will all return to Vodacom Bulls training from next week onwards, it was confirmed in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The Vodacom Bulls squad assembled in Pretoria on Monday to prepare for the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby season, but a couple of senior players will only join the fray later this month.

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana

World Cup-winning Springbok Bryan Habana is enjoying his stay in Toulon so much, he might extend it.

The 31-year-old, Player of the Year after equalling the record set for most tries in a World Cup, said discussions are underway to extend his contract the French and European champions when it expires in 2016.

His arrival in the south of France was marked by a groin injury that sidelined him for most of his first season.

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Morné Steyn & Mosese Ratuvou

Morné Steyn & Mosese Ratuvou

Veteran Springbok Morné Steyn claims he was ‘eye-gouged’, which is why he kicked out at Fijian wing Mosese Ratuvou.

The 30-year-old flyhalf was red-carded for the kick in the first half of the Stade Français’ 9-12 loss to Lyon in a French Top 14 match last Friday.

Steyn, the top-scorer at the 2011 World Cup and a holder of numerous international records, had confidently kicked Stade into a 6-0 lead – courtesy of a 40-metre penalty and a quick-thinking drop-goal.

But after Ratuvou had cut the deficit with the game’s opening try, Steyn saw red in the 31st minute for kicking the Fijian wing as the two tussled on the ground.

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Morné Steyn

Morné Steyn

South African flyhalf Morné Steyn endured a miserable first start of the season for Stade Francais on Friday when he was red-carded in the Top 14 leaders’ 9-12 defeat at Lyon.

Steyn, the 30-year-old top-scorer at the 2011 World Cup, had confidently kicked Stade into a 6-0 lead – courtesy of a 40-metre penalty and a quick-thinking drop-goal.

But after Mosese Ratuvou had cut the deficit with the game’s opening try, Steyn saw red in the 31st minute for kicking the Fijian wing as the two tussled on the ground.

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Emirates LionsThis is the second article in the series of Lions Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Lions have real depth in the hookers, with Robbie Coetzee, Akker van der Merwe, Malcolm Marx, Willie Wepener and even Mark Pretorius available to them in 2015.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

The Emirates Lions front row will be a force in 2015.

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Stormers

This is the second article in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

A bit of good and a lot of bad news for Stormers supporters, as Bongi Mbonambi joins the Stormers from the Bulls but with recent news that Tiaan Liebenberg has retired due to continued injuries and of course also with the fact that Deon Fourie has left for overseas.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the DHL Stormers 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

One cannot help but feel that the Stormers are light in the hookers and in the front row in general for 2015.

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Cheetahs

This is the second article in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Cheetahs have lost the services of a number of players between seasons and the hooker position is one severely affected by the loss of Adriaan Strauss (Bulls) and Hercu Liebenberg (released).

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

Things are looking rather bleak in the hooker department and in the whole front row for the Cheetahs.

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Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux

Springbok Willie le Roux will be able to write his own salary cheque after next year’s World Cup.

According to media reports French giants Toulouse head an impressive list of clubs interested in the 25-year-old’s services.

English Premiership outfit Saracens and ‘several’ Japanese teams have put Le Roux on their wish list.

Le Roux is contracted to the Cheetahs until November next year and will be in the transfer market for the 2015 / 2016 season.

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Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen

Racing Metro’s South African flyhalf Johan Goosen is set to be out of action for up to three weeks, after injuring his knee while coming down the stairs of the team bus, his club said Sunday.

The 22-year-old, was set to be in the starting line-up to face Toulouse on Sunday, but missed the 9-15 defeat, after his mishap on arrival in the south of the country.

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Cell C SharksThis is the second article in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Sharks have had no change in hooker personnel since the 2014 Super Rugby season, but are very adequately covered in Bismarck du Plessis and Kyle Cooper, with further backup from Monde Hadebe.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Cell C Sharks 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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This is the second article in the series of Bulls Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015. In 2015 the Bulls will be better off in the hooker department, having contracted Adriaan Strauss, the Springbok hooker from the Toyota Cheetahs, although they have also lost the services of Bongi Mbonambi to the DHL Stormers.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

In 2015 the Bulls subsequently sit with a current Springbok hooker, an erstwhile Springbok hooker and a hooker who was invited to the Springbok training squad in 2014 by Heyneke Meyer, to fire their Super Rugby campaign… and with these hookers next to 2 current Springbpk props as well as a choice of 2 erstwhile Springbok props.

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Emirates LionsIn the first discussions of the Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (in December), we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles to start off with, to be done as time allows me to do, considering one has to have some holidays and some off time too, before the new year becomes a burden on the batteries again.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Lions 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

The Emirates Lions are much in the same position as the Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks, with excellent props serving their cause for 2015, with recent Springbok tourists at tighthead, Julian Redelinghuys and Ruan Dreyer both standout tighthead props and Schalk van der Merwe easily seeing off all comers in 2014, no matter who they were and what their pedigrees were.

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StormersIn the first lot of discussions of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015, we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles to start with, followed by the rest of the Articles, as and how time allows, from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the DHL Stormers 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

Similar to the situation at the Toyota Cheetahs, the Stormers have had some departures, with Brok Harris and pat Cillies having left the Franchise.

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CheetahsIn December’s discussions of the Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015, we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

Work committments interfered a bit with my plans to start these articles at the hefty pace of 10 Super Rugby Articles every week, as today is the final day of the 1st week and this only represents the 3rd Article in the range, 7 behind schedule… but with a plan to radically catch up after the Christmas festivities and whilst leisurely following the 5-Day Cricket Test between South Africa and the West Indies which starts on Boxing Day (26 December).

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Toyota Cheetahs 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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Jake White

Jake White

South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winning coach Jake White is set to be named manager of Top 14 side Montpellier on Thursday.

The 51-year-old – a two-time IRB World Coach of the Year – has signed a six month contract according to a well-informed source.

His appointment will place almost unbearable pressure on head coach Fabien Galthie as White will be the former France captain’s superior.

Galthie, who has been seen as a potential successor to present France coach Philippe Saint-Andre should he step down after next year’s World Cup, has seen his position at the club weakened with a seven match losing run dating back to October 11 which only ended in their game last Saturday with a narrow win over Toulouse.

They are presently in sixth place, the last position for the post-season play-offs, 11 points off leaders and defending champions Toulon.

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SpringboksThis year saw another pack of exciting young players force their way into the Springbok fold and into contention for a place at the World Cup.

A lengthy injury list meant that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer had to turn to inexpeienced players more often than he would have liked, but the flip side is that it gave some players the chance to prove themselves at the highest level.

Admittedly there is still a lot of rugby to be played before the World Cup, but it will probably take something exceptional for any uncapped players to force their way into Meyer’s thinking next year.

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Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson

The Cell C Sharks have lured a New Zealand Sevens player to Durban as they continue to bolster their own ranks.

New Zealand-born wing Jack Wilson has signed for the Sharks from English Premiership club Saracens and will immediately join the Super Rugby squad.

The talented wing, 25, arrived in London in December 2012 and has scored 6 tries in 19 appearances for Saracens.

His arrival follows shortly after confirmation that Saracens’ England lock Mouritz Botha will also make Durban his home next year. Botha, unlike Wilson, will only join the coastal franchise in January.

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Cell C SharksIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (17 to 24 December), we will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Cell C Sharks 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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dhl Newlands, Cape Town

dhl Newlands, Cape Town

A Special General Meeting of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) was held at DHL Newlands on Wednesday 17 December 2014 to give feedback and to discuss the investigation of the feasibility and desirability to relocate to the Cape Town Stadium.

The WPRFU are the owners of the DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium – in turn, the clubs are the stakeholders and owners of the Union – and a decision to remain at DHL Newlands was carried by the clubs on Wednesday 17 December 2014, unanimously and without abstention.

The decision to NOT further consider relocating to the Cape Town Stadium was based on a number of factors, the main considerations being the following:

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Vodacom BullsIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (17 to 21 December), we will discuss 2 positions in 10 seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) – seperating the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

Suggestions as to what to add to these Articles are welcome, but please hurry as the next Article will follow this one shortly!

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Paul Treu

Paul Treu

Former BlitzBokke and Kenya Sevens coach Paul Treu’s role at the Stormers and Western Province may be surprising given his Sevens background, but the departure of Jacques Nienaber has left a hole to be filled.

Treu, who had been coaching the Kenyan Sevens until the recent Port Elizabeth tournament, completed a rapid return to the world of 15-man-rugby when he joined Western Province on Monday.

The long-serving BlitzBokke coach signed up with the Cape side along with Rito Hlungwani and Hanyani Shimange as three big appointments by Director of Rugby Gert Smal ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Western Province also announced the loss of defensive coach Nienaber who joined the High Performance Department at SARU. This is where Treu stepped in.

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Rugby-Talk.com

It is officially the dreaded OFF-SEASON for Southern Hemisphere rugby, so it means under normal circumstances that we would be going into withdrawal system mode very, very soon… but NEVER here on Rugby-Talk.com.

As from this week (sometime), we will be starting IN DEPTH DISCUSSIONS on the INDIVIDUAL POSITIONS and the PLAYERS who will be filling these positions for the 5 South African Super Rugby Franchises.

That alone means 40 Articles to feast on (8 per Franchise), at a rate of 2 per midweek day, therefor roughly 10 per week, and subsequently it will take us roughly 4 weeks to complete… which basically covers most of the off-season.

But, that is not all folks, we will also be covering INTERNATIONAL CRICKET and some of the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE RUGBY.

In addition we will have a Christmas and New Year’s message, which has also proven popular over the years.

So, lots to look forward to, hold on to your boots!

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Hanyani Shimange

Hanyani Shimange

Paul Treu

Paul Treu

Western Province Rugby has announced some exciting additions to its coaching resources, with Paul Treu, Rito Hlungwani and Hanyani Shimange set to join, in various capacities, from 2015 onwards.

The signing of Treu, Hlungwani and Shimange will bolster the DHL Stormers and various DHL Western Province professional teams, whilst WP Rugby has also agreed to release Jacques Nienaber to further his career at national level.

Treu is a highly-regarded coach on the World Sevens circuit, having put South African Sevens on the map by guiding the Springbok Sevens side to the overall IRB Sevens World Series title in 2008/09 and recently also finishing a stint as coach of the national Kenyan Sevens team.

Treu, 43, coached the SA Sevens team between 2004 and 2013, leading them to an overall tally of 14 tournament wins and building a professional and structured squad set-up in the process. His presence will add a new and exciting dynamic to the settled DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province coaching set-ups.

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SpringboksWhile South Africa finished the year second in the world, and the only side in 2014 to defeated the All Blacks, their two losses at the end of the year against Ireland and Wales exposed deficiencies that will be studiously worked on by the coaching team.

One thing is for certain, there is likely to be some changes to the portfolio after Heyneke Meyer admitted that elements like the team’s kicking weren’t working, while the usually reliable power game of the Springboks wasn’t able to rule proceedings in Dublin and Cardiff.

They did however, during that 27-25 win at Ellis Park over New Zealand, show that they have the breakdown belligerence and attacking sense to match any side.

Even if four losses in their last eight of the year came seemed to come from a lack of crystal concise mindset than anything else, at times kicking, running or passing seemed to come without the smart bomb like precision we usually expect from a Boks team.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesBlitzbokkeSouth Africa have beaten New Zealand 26-17 in the Cup final at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in a repeat of last year’s victory, in front of 36 425 fans.

The Blitzbokke are the toast of South Africa after title defence at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on the weekend.

The Blitzbokke have accordingly also now moved to first in the global HSBC Sevens World Series standings with win, as the road to Rio (2016 Olympics) heats up.

South Africa have defended their title and won their second consecutive round of the HSBC Sevens World Series with a 26-17 win over defending series champions New Zealand at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, round three of the Series.

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Rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus

An internal restructuring to streamline the identification, development and monitoring of players will be headed up by Rassie Erasmus as SARU looks to take sole responsibility for an unbroken pathway for players and coaches.

The restructuring indicates that SARU is trying to take a bigger role in the development of players right from the junior level to potentially Springboks.

The new structure has evolved from the former Development and High Performance departments, whose functions have been rationalised.

“The old departments worked hand-in-hand,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

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Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2015

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