Home Sport SA Rugby expected to announce Rassie replacement in big reshuffle

SA Rugby expected to announce Rassie replacement in big reshuffle

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More changes are expected soon, especially an announcement of the successor for Rassie Erasmus, who left his role as director of rugby to begin his second spell as Springbok coach.

Sandile Ngcobo (former head coach of South Africa Sevens), Mark Alexander (Saru President) and Philip Snyman (Blitzbok head coach). Picture: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

Leighton Koopman

SA RUGBY started their overhaul of the coaching structures in the organisation this week after head coach Sandile Ngcobo stepped down as Blitzboks head coach.

More changes are expected soon, especially an announcement of the successor for Rassie Erasmus, who left his role as director of rugby to begin his second spell as Springbok coach.

The director of rugby role will most likely fall away with a head of rugby taking over the responsibilities of Erasmus, who previously had to oversee all rugby divisions within the union while focusing on the Springboks, SA Rugby’s golden goose.

Current Western Province head of rugby Dave Wessels and SA Rugby High-Performance Manager Louis Koen are the front-line candidates to take over the position.

Wessels, who was brought in by the governing body to help WP, is a well-travelled coach and has helped change the fortunes of the Cape side.

Koen currently coaches the Springbok Women and alongside Women’s high-performance manager Lynne Cantwell has taken the women’s programme to new heights.

Mark Alexander, president of the union, this week told Independent Newspapers that they were looking to re-purpose the organisation to streamline things.

“For Rassie to focus on the Boks and other things will be too much. We want him focused purely on the Springboks,” said Alexander.

“We had a strategy meeting in January. We are restructuring the organisation to meet the new demands of the sport. Rugby is changing. There are lots of new challenges.”

SA Rugby, earlier this week, announced that Ngcobo would be stepping away from the Blitzboks hot seat, with former captain Philip Snyman taking over.

The change was only expected after the Hong Kong tournament, but drastic measures were taken to see if the Springbok Sevens could turn their fortunes around during the Hong Kong Sevens, which is happening in the first week of April.

It also came to light that a falling out between Ngcobo and breakthrough player Ricardo “Tricky Ricky” Duarttee had contributed to Duarttee making himself unavailable for the Los Angeles Sevens.

It’s the second time this season that Ngcobo and Duarttee have had a tiff.

He was dropped ahead of the Dubai and Cape Town legs, the first two tournaments of the series, after falling out with the former coach.

The Blitzboks won in Dubai under Snyman’s coaching, but when Ngcobo returned from an injury in Cape Town, the team fell into a slump and haven’t recovered.

They currently languish in seventh position on the overall SVNS Series points table, close to the relegation zone.

South Africa also still need to qualify for the Olympics, and the hope is that under Snyman’s coaching, they will do so later this year.

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