Former Springbok assistant and Sharks coach Dick Muir says his passion for coaching has been reignited after taking up a new role with Durban club side Crusaders, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Muir coached the Sharks to the 2007 Super Rugby final before taking up a role as a Bok assistant alongside Peter de Villiers from 2008 to 2011, but then essentially took a hiatus from full-time coaching.
Although Muir has headed up the Investec Rugby Academy in South Africa over the past few years, and will continue to do so, he has now made a move back to the grassroots level of the game, where he effectively serves as the Crusaders’ director of rugby.
‘When I finished up with the Boks, it was time for me to take a step back from coaching, but it’s always been a passion for me,' he tells SARugbymag.co.za. 'So when the opportunity arose to begin helping out at Crusaders, I felt the timing was right. I’m a former player, and in the 1990s we were a really strong club team, but it’s gone a bit backwards from there.
'So hopefully we can look to rebuild the club and ensure it becomes a force to be reckoned with once again. Having been back for a bit now, it’s reignited that passion and brought back that competitive coaching spirit, which has been exciting.’
After taking a step back from professional coaching, Muir has been involved in a vegetable processing business, but says he was never completely detached from the goings-on in the rugby world.
‘Obviously I have a natural interest in what has been happening in the game, although it has been from a distance. You do see the mistakes being made [at national level], and question why. Perhaps there are reasons for it, but it’s been very concerning to see the decline.
‘Being involved with the academy has also enabled me to keep in touch with what is happening in the game. It’s something that I will continue to do because I think it’s important to have that structure where coaches and players at various levels are able to learn and share knowledge.’
Albeit on a relatively part-time basis, Muir said he was also glad to be back involved in the club game, which he insists has a fundamental role to play in the South African rugby system.
‘I do think club rugby is an area of the game in South Africa that has been neglected to a degree, but I really think it does have an important place in our game. We have so many talented players in South Africa, and a number of late developers, and the club scene still provides the platform for them to perform and be recognised.’
Photo: Duif du Toit/ Gallo Images