SA Rugby has confirmed that the Springboks’ head of athletic performance, Aled Walters, has been released from his contract to join an overseas club in June.
Walters joined the Springboks from Munster with Rassie Erasmus back in 2018 and has been an unsung hero in ensuring their fitness and conditioning was up to scratch ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
His departure will be a big blow as SA Rugby director of rugby Erasmus looks for continuity in the Springbok set-up going into next year’s British & Irish Lions series.
Erasmus paid tribute to the important contribution Walters has made during his tenure of two years with the Springboks.
‘It’s obviously sad to lose someone of Aled’s ability, but we understand that the unprecedented times we are in, brings about difficult challenges and we respect his wish to return to the UK,’ Erasmus said.
‘Aled has made an enormous impact since joining the Springboks in 2018 and I know that while the whole squad will be sad to see him go, he will also have our very best wishes for the future.’
Walters said he enjoyed his time with the Springboks and added that he is returning to United Kingdom for personal reasons.
‘My tenure with the Springboks can be described as some of the best times I’ve had in rugby,’ Walters said. ‘But these are uncertain times and the wish to be closer to families based in Wales and Ireland was a key consideration in making what was a very hard decision.’
SA Rugby announced that an appointment to replace Walters will be made in due course. However, SARugbymag.co.za understands that he could be replaced by Timothy Qumbu – who has previously worked with the Junior Springboks, Springbok Women and Women’s Sevens teams.
Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets