The Springboks’ newly appointed head of athletic performance Andy Edwards has opened up about his shock move away from Saracens to join the South African team’s backroom staff.
Edwards will take up his new role with the Springboks on 1 August, and will travel to Cape Town as soon as possible when international travel to South Africa resumes.
His appointment follows the departure of Aled Walters, who recently returned to the United Kingdom where he has joined the Leicester Tigers, after a successful two-year stint with the South African national team. Walters was credited as key to Erasmus’ coaching unit, helping the Springboks raise their fitness levels before the successful 2019 World Cup campaign.
Edwards, an integral member of the Saracens team which captured five English Premiership league crowns and three European titles, said while he is honoured to join the Boks and excited about moving to Cape Town with his family, he is sad to leave Saracens after his 16-year involvement with the club.
‘Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to the Wray family for everything they have done for me since a was a teenager. Secondly to Mark [McCall] and Phil [Morrow, head of performance] for all the support they have given me over so many years. I’m truly grateful for the time I’ve had at Saracens.
‘I can’t quite believe that I won’t be coming into work here anymore after 15 years of coaching. I’ve grown up at the club and have been a part of something that has given me some of the best times of my life.
‘I have had the chance to work with some of the best players, coaches and support staff in the world but, more importantly, I get to call them my mates as I leave.
‘I’m excited to move to Cape Town with my family and begin a new adventure with the South African national team. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for me personally and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.’
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