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Meyer’s assistants named


The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Sunday announced the appointment of former Springbok loose forward Rassie Erasmus into a senior management position at the organisation.

SA Rugby

Erasmus has been appointed at SARU to fill the vacant position of General Manager: High Performance Teams. He will also be seconded to the Springboks when they are in camp.

“Rassie is one of the most astute brains in world rugby – his appointment at SARU will ensure we have the best possible leadership at our national teams. He will work with all the national teams, but will be involved with the Springboks while they are in camp,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux.

“Our aim is to always produce winning teams and Rassie’s main task will be to establish structures to do this. He will be tasked to create a blueprint for South African rugby that can be implemented from junior to senior level, for our mens’, women’s and sevens’ teams.”

Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer said he was very happy with Erasmus’ appointment at SARU and that he was looking forward to working with the former Springbok loose forward.

“Rassie’s inputs to the Springboks last year were lauded by everyone I spoke to and his coaching pedigree speaks for itself, considering the vast amount of success he’s had at the Cheetahs and Western Province,” said Meyer.

“I’m excited to have him on board and I know he will add value to rugby in South Africa, which is ultimately what his job will be.”

Roux also announced that SARU have entered into formal negotiations with Vodacom Bulls forwards coach Johann van Graan, former Springbok fullback and Vodacom Blue Bulls backline coach Ricardo Loubscher, Vodacom Bulls defence coach John McFarland and Vodacom Bulls conditioning coach Basil Carzis.

SARU would also like to secure the services of Toyota Cheetahs conditioning coach Niel du Plessis, former Springbok flyhalf and Paarl Gymnasium Director of Sport Louis Koen, former French prop Pieter de Villiers and Ian Schwartz, High Performance Manager of the Blue Bulls.

Furthermore, three members of the Springbok medical team from the last four years, Dr Craig Roberts (team doctor), Vivian Verwant (physiotherapist) and Daliah Hurwitz (masseuse) have been re-appointed.

The rest of the management team will consist of Charles Wessels (Operational Head), Annelee Murray (PR and Admin Manager), JJ Fredericks (Logistics), Albé Visser (Technical Analyst) and De Jongh Borchardt (Communications Manager).

“It’s no secret that the negotiations around the Springbok assistant coaches positions have taken longer than we had hoped, but we want to give Heyneke the team that he sees as the best for doing the job,” said Roux.

“I’m very pleased that the process of securing the services of the right people is now in full swing and we’re confident that negotiations will be concluded soon as the Castle Lager Incoming Tour against England looms large.

“We know the people identified by Heyneke are the best in the business and we’ve worked very hard behind the scenes to secure their services to Springbok rugby. An announcement in this regard will be made very soon.”

Meyer said: “At this stage, I can’t really comment on the process, but I would like to thank SARU for the effort they’ve put in to getting the people I’ve identified to be part of my management.

“I have worked closely with most of the people while others have come very highly regarded and I’m confident the Springboks will benefit from their involvement. We will work well together as a team and will hit the ground running in the short turnaround for the first Test against England,” Meyer said.


  1. Good appointment for SARU with Rassie… the rest is pretty what was expected… would prefer Roussouw over a VC backs coach but hey that’s RSA for you…

    Why two conditioning coaches?

  2. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 5:20 pm:

    Finally some sort of blue-print succession plan for SARU across the age groups… and the right man to head it… now all I need to see is some Bok ‘A’ side games against quality opposition to blood fringe-players and create an extended squad… in sync with the Bok 22 and no need to cap players willy-nilly… and they’ll be sorted for the future…

  3. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 5:36 pm:


    At last we are starting to look like
    a professional outfit. This is the
    best set-up since 1992.
    WP’s loss is the Boks’ gain – go Rassie!
    I also see the hand of Jurie Roux here.

    Missing Cheryl Calder though, but I
    have an idea she is otherwise tied up.

    No Os?

  4. Rassie’s inputs to the Springboks last year were lauded by everyone I spoke to and his coaching pedigree speaks for itself, considering the vast amount of success he’s had at the Cheetahs and Western Province,” said Meyer.

    I must of missed some games?
    Didn’t see any fkn amount of vast success.

  5. Hopefully these guys will be able to create some sort of management policy for primo players so they don’t get run hard and put away wet during the entire Super 15.

    Bekker should never be thought of as a starter for Boks due to all his injury stuff – if he is fit then great but he should not be counted on.

    As much as I hate to say it – because I enjoy watching “The Greatest Show on Turf ” – The SuperCheetahs – I think The Goose needs to be managed health – wise. He will prove to be too important for Boks the next 8 years or so.

    As much of a squid as Waratahs coach Michael Foley is – I think he is helping out SpringBok cause by benching SuperPretorious and saving him health-wise.
    Let’s face it as scrumhalf Super > Hougaard. Hougaard is dynamic for impact and on the wing but he turns human at scrumhalf.

    A team with Hougaard and Messerschmitt-Willie at wing may provoke a NZ forfeit prior to the match. They would realize that pairing would offer them zero hope. Zero.

  6. Reply to Americano @ 8:11 pm:

    I watched the Cheetahs to share your
    enthusiasm for Messerschmidt.
    Only thing I saw is him letting the
    defence down a few times by being out
    of position.
    Maybe he just had a very ordinary game?

  7. Boertje – The guy is still flesh and blood, born with original sin like the rest of us and so on.
    I’ll have to review but did see him good for a try-assist.
    Last week on the dis-allowed try he started the movement at flyhalf, looped all the way round to get the on-line pass from the lock and stepped out before the ill-fated try-dive.

    That’s Dave Campese sort of stuff. Guy has a nose for the line and insists on it. Most wings are eunuchs by comparison. If reincarnation exists, in a past life Messerschmitt Willie was Black Beard the pirate – straight up.

  8. When I chatted to Lions Conditioniung Coach Wayne Taylor he explained to me that there’s a difference between a fitness coach and a conditioning coach.

    Fitness gets the players generally fit and conditioning coach oversees the whole kaboodle which includes being closely involved in determining very specific regimens of diet, exercise, and focus on areas for the specific position as well as the coach’s game plan. As an example the coach will tell the conditioning guy he wants a wing who can perform a specific function… as in he wants a wing who has quick burst speed and can jump high to contest high balls. So the conditioning coach in conjunction with the fitness, stamina and speed and dieticians coaches will determine the muscle tone, the speed exercises, the diet, the supplements, the necessity of say an eye coach like Calder to help peripheral vision and of course a specialist biokineticist to teach the wing to jump, and grappling to contest the ball on the jump.

    The Cheetahs Conditioning coach is according to Taylor, widely regarded as the best in SA. Prior to the S15 opening Taylor told me he regarded the Cheetahs as the best conditioned team in the tournament.

    We have no idea how regimented and planned every single move in union rugby is these days…

    On sixth and seventh phase plays the moves are STILL planned and called and determined

    Players need to be intelligent and are conditioned to play a gameplan…

    ps Bryce… he quite liked your “22 man 85 minute team” moniker…

    Pity he is at the Lions… although there is now a job open northwards…

  9. DavidS –
    ” On sixth and seventh phase plays the moves are STILL planned and called and determined ”

    How praytell do they manage to swing THAT?

    Please elaborate. If that can be done with consistancy and regularity those coaches need to be put in charge of curing cancer and finding room temp cold fusion!

  10. Has Rassie as a coach
    or as a player
    won any bragging rights .
    whats the hoorah and new dawn for then.
    Mallet and white for that matter
    have both won!!
    and nothing.
    Whats rassie going to achieve now
    Same as before.
    What about winning?
    I have faith in HM simply because he has won.
    I hope he can repeat this on international level.

  11. Reply to Duiwel @ 9:30 pm:

    Go check the Stormers’ positions in the
    SS15 since Rassie took over to what happend
    before then.
    Could have assisted you, but I did not keep
    that article on file.

    He was an above average Springbok. Put in the
    best tackle since Joggie Jansen – it’s
    somewhere on YouTube. Devastating is an

    And he’s not paying anybody to call him one
    of the most astute rugby brains around.


  12. Reply to Boertjie @ 9:40 pm:

    (on Larkham).
    Second on that page’s list is Joggie
    Jansen on Wayne Cottrell.
    You’ve GOT to watch this!

  13. Reply to Duiwel @ 9:30 pm:

    Rassie is not going to SARU as a coach… he’s going there is a similar role he had at WP… and that is to get all RSA rep teams on the same page, make the transition from one to the other seamless… and nurture all talent coming through.

    This is where his greatest success at WP was… when all and sundry were calling for his head last year for not ‘spending’ and ‘poaching’ forwards… he declared he’d developed enough juniors to bring up a level.

    And he was damn spot-on… Stormers have the best forward depth in the competition with their youngsters in Eldstadt, Etsabeth, Kitshoff, Kolisi, Malherbe, to name but a few.

    As for his role with the Boks… he’s renowned as one of the best technical analysts in the business… and that’s going to be his capacity like last year.

    It’s most certainly no coincidence that the Bok’s came out firing with a totally different game-plan against the Wallabies… who up till that point had the wood over the Boks with ease.

    Just a pity their skill-set was not up to pulling it off, nor having the ability to change tact when it wasn’t succeeding.

    As for his successes… well he turned around the Cheetah’s Currie Cup form immediately… and winning the South African conference last year is a far greater feat than any other domestically…

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