With the start of the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby competition a week away, the Springbok coaching staff and local franchise coaches met for a third time on Wednesday in Kempton Park to discuss and finalise a coaching blueprint for South African rugby.
Coaches from the six Vodacom Super Rugby franchises and the Springboks were joined by SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, Francois Davids (Deputy President) and James Stoffberg (Vice-President) at the one-day indaba.
Wednesday’s gathering was a resumption of the coaches’ indaba first held in Cape Town in December last year, with the main aim of designing a new direction for Springbok rugby and to address on-field performance by South African teams.
The draft version of the SA Rugby Blueprint was presented at the meeting following the two previous coaches’ gatherings.
According to some of the outcomes of Wednesday’s meeting, the identification and implementation of key rugby fundamentals will be done at franchise and Springbok level and the blueprint will now be shared with all national teams and local franchises.
There is also a much clearer understanding on the resting and playing time of Springboks, while a national conditioning strategy will be finalised within the next two weeks.
With Vodacom Super Rugby about to kick off and South Africans keen to see their local teams in action against the best of New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Japan, Mr Alexander described the draft blueprint as a huge milestone for South African rugby.
“We now have the guiding principles of a much needed blueprint for South African rugby and the draft is the result of excellent collaboration between the local franchise coaches and the Springbok coaching staff,” said Mr Alexander.
“Co-operation and collective action is key for the implementation and success of this blueprint.
“We are not expecting all our teams to play exactly the same game, but it will be good to see our Vodacom Super Rugby teams use similar fundamentals when it comes to the basics of the game, and from there use their own unique style in their game-plans.
“South African Rugby can only prosper if our unions and coaches collaborate with one another in the implementation of our collective plan. This blueprint plan does not dictate your provincial or franchise game-plan, but it is a necessary strategic framework for our rugby.
“It is my firm belief that the coming together of local coaching experts and their sharing of knowledge, added by their desire to improve our game, will put the Springboks in a better position in terms of preparation for their June series against France and the rest of the international season.
“Some of the important topics discussed during the three indabas included learnings from the last few seasons, player contracting, player retention and succession planning as well as the development and retention of local coaches,” added Mr Alexander.