National coaching symposium



The South African Rugby Union (SARU) hosts a ground-breaking national coaching symposium in Stellenbosch later this month where ideas will be shared between coaches from junior provincial to Springbok level.

All provincial coaches have been invited to the symposium – an initiative of SARU’s High Performance Department – which will run from 27 to 31 January at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.

Seminars will be led by the three Springbok assistant coaches Johann van Graan, Ricardo Loubscher and John McFarland, as well as national coaching consultants Pieter de Villiers, Louis Koen and Chean Roux and SARU High Performance General Manager Rassie Erasmus and Willie Maree, SARU’s Technical Support Manager.

All facets of game play and preparation will be on the agenda as well as technical analysis.

“As far as we know, this is the first time we’ll host a national coaching symposium on this scale,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

“Our Springbok coaches will share their coaching philosophy and principles but we’ll also get feedback and see how our elite professional coaches can work together to improve our approach to the game on a nationwide scale.

“We’ve had a great response from the provinces to the initiative and have also invited the coaches of the four SARU Academies, established in 2012 in Border, Eastern Province, South Western Districts and Boland.

The High Performance Department’s cooperation with the 14 provinces and the Vodacom Super Rugby franchises will be stepped up in the coming months when members of the Springbok coaching team and SARU’s Mobi-Unit visit the provinces to work with the players on the training field.

“We’ve worked really closely together with the Super Rugby franchises and the provinces since last year, and it’s something we want to increase this season,” said Erasmus.

“We’ve extended invitations to all the provinces and franchises and will assist them wherever they require us. This will include the Springboks’ Medical team, whose members are also available for assistance.

“I believe we have started reaping the rewards of closer cooperation between SARU and the provinces and that everyone can gain from working together. The Springbok coaches and the Mobi-Unit have put in a lot of very hard work for the benefit of rugby in South Africa and we’re very excited about the symposium and the coming months of working together.”


Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Well this is really a great initiative. I really hope our provincial and national coaches do this more often. Our national can only get stronger through these initiatives. Hopefully this isnt a one off and they exchange ideas on a regular basis.

  2. @Aldo:

    Won’t be a once off and it is the culmination of a hell of a lot of hard work put in over the last few months to gain the trust of the unions that SARU is not out to screw them or put one unions or franchise ahead of the other.

    Close to 50 people from all unions and elite structures in SA Rugby will attend the week long workshop with the national (Springbok) coaches presenting on the various days.

  3. Hope a workshop at each is titled ” How to coach your players to become Messerschmitts”.

    Instructors will probably be from New Zealand with guest speaking slots to be filled by Andre Joubert, Serge Blanco & Campo.

  4. As I recall though Morne this has been done several times in the past dating back to Jake’s days as head coach. I recall there being ones involving Heyneke Meyer, Loffie Eloff, Plumbago and [insert Stormers coach name here I think Doc Evil] with Jake and his team on the the Bok coaching staff.

    This is the same just way bigger in scale then?

  5. @DavidS:

    The ones before in a forum environment was with ex-Bok coaches (in Jake’s days) and was more to do with plotting a Bok strategy going forward.

    All Bok coaches since Jake met with the Franchise coaches in the past as part of strategic planning for Super Rugby and Springboks but mainly on the management of players, but this was done as one-on-one visits and not in a forum type environment.

    This specific event will have the Springbok coaches present methodologies, principles and the inner workings of the Bok team from a coaching perspective to all unions/franchises to give them an understanding of exactly what Heyneke is trying to accomplish with the Boks and his approach.

    Although the idea is not to debate if any approach is right or wrong – it would be chaos, the outcome to this is based on giving all professional coaches in SA an intimate understanding of what happens at the Springboks and rugby at the highest level and to share intellectual property with individuals that are all part of the South African rugby system.

    Since SARU established the mobi-unit (consisting of Springbok assistant coaches and consultants) a couple of months ago and made them available to any union free of charge, the need and requirements from all unions changed from apprehensive to almost not being able to keep up with requests for them to consult at unions to upskill their players and coaches.

    So the need for the above event is sort of born from that too, the increasing need from unions to access the expertise of our national guys.

  6. Good moves. iN PARTICULAR THE POORER SMALL UNIONS CAN EXACT TREMENDOUS EXPERTISE FROM THESE experts. Heyneke Meyer is known for surrounding himself with expertise so when he makes good experts avaiulable to unions who would never have access to a Heyeneke Meyer and Co it serves to asssist in upskilling rugby as a whole.