Rugby

Rassie heads new SARU department

2014-12-15 12:00
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - An internal restructuring to streamline the identification, development and monitoring of players for all national teams has been unveiled by the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

A new SARU ‘Rugby Department’ will take sole responsibility for an unbroken pathway for players and coaches from youth rugby to Springbok level. A second department responsible for Strategic Performance Management will monitor rugby’s transformation progress.

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. “The Development department identified playing and coaching talent and put their feet on the right path before they would be picked up by the HP department when they reached senior national teams.

“But there was a dislocation and the chance that players could fall by the wayside and that we would lose track of them. The new structure will assist us in following players ‘from the cradle to the grave’.”

Roux said that the new department would have four ‘legs’ with responsibilities divided between:

- On-field coaching and preparation

- Off-field logistics and planning,

- Technical analysis and database management

- Medical care and safety

All but one role in the new structure has been filled internally. Rassie Erasmus, the former Springbok player and Currie Cup-winning coach, leads the new department as General Manager. He was formally General Manager of High Performance at SARU.

Jacques Nienaber, the former Springbok and WP defence coach, is the sole new appointment. He has been appointed on a one-year contract to lead the on-field section of the department as HP Manager. Nienaber had been a member of SARU’s coaching mobi-unit prior to his appointment.

“From the moment a player appears on our radar at one of our youth week tournaments we will be able to track his performance and development all the way through to his retirement,” said Roux.

“We’ll be able to log every minute he has played for all teams, we’ll have analysed every action in every match for our national teams, we’ll have a full picture of his entire medical history and we’ll have been able to identify his strengths and weaknesses and discussed those with every coach he will have in his career.”

The function of monitoring transformation in rugby, which had been one of the roles of the old Development department, had also been re-examined in the restructure, said Roux.

A new department, responsible for Strategic Performance Management, had been created to concentrate solely on this function. Mervin Green, the General Manager of the former Development Department, has been appointed its GM.

“Transformation is something we have worked very hard on in recent years and spent many thousands of hours on with roadshows, workshops and audits to develop our strategic approach,” said Roux.

“We have to measure it to be able to manage it and the new Strategic Performance Management department will have that sole focus, aligned to the expectations we place on ourselves internally and those that are placed on us by our external stakeholders such as SASCOC and Government.”

The new structure will come into full effect from the New Year.

Read more on:    saru  |  jurie roux  |  rassie erasmus  |  rugby
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