New vision for WP rugby

WPRU president Thelo Wakefield and outgoing CEO Rob Wagner have revealed a new strategic plan called ‘Towards 2020’. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

The plan aims to strengthen Western Province rugby on and off the field.

After conducting a climate survey to identify areas for growth and improvement in WP rugby, Wakefield explained at a press conference in Bellville on Thursday that the plan aimed to ‘transform the organisation from where it is, to where we would like it to be’.

‘This sort of survey is an important thing to do from time to time. It provided information about what the people within think of the organisation. I asked them to rate the organisation on a scale of one to 10, and what came out of it was exactly what I wanted to know; what requirements and changes we needed to implement.

'There is a need to know exactly how to move WP rugby forward. We want to be the best rugby franchise in the world, and how are we going to get there if we don’t know what the staff think and how they can contribute? This strategic plan will help us to close the performance gap both on and off the field.’

Wagner, who recently announced his retirement after 25 years of service to WP rugby, said he felt it was the perfect time to hand over the leadership reins.

‘It’s an incredible strategy we are embarking on. There’s a new era dawning, a group of young players under a new coach [Robbie Fleck]. The timing is perfect for me to step back, and ask someone else to take this brand into a new era. There have been extensive discussions over the desired level of excellence we want to achieve, and it’s time for someone with new energy to take the brand to new heights. All the structures are in place.’

Gavin Lewis, who has been serving as general marketing manager, has been appointed the interim CEO.

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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