Saru restructures to aid transformation

Saru has undergone an internal restructuring to simplify the identification, development and monitoring of players for all national teams.

In a bid to help achieve the goals put forward by the Strategic Transformation Plan earlier this year and help streamline the process of developing players and coaches from youth rugby to Springbok level, Saru has implemented a new 'Rugby Department'.

This new department has evolved from the former Development and High Performance departments. A second department responsible for monitoring rugby’s transformation progress has also been implemented.

'The old departments worked hand-in-hand,' said Jurie Roux, CEO of Saru. 'The Development department identified playing and coaching talent and put their feet on the right path before they would be picked up by the HP [High Performance] department when they reached senior national teams.

'But there was a dislocation and the chance that players could fall by the wayside and that we would lose track of them. The new structure will assist us in following players “from the cradle to the grave”.'

The new department would have four ‘legs’ with responsibilities divided between:

·         On-field coaching and preparation
·         Off-field logistics and planning,
·         Technical analysis and database management
·         Medical care and safety

Rassie Erasmus will continue to head up the department as general manager, while former Stormers and Springboks defence coach Jacques Nienaber is the sole new appointment.

He has been appointed on a one-year contract to lead the on-field section of the department, having previously been a member of Saru’s coaching mobi-unit.

'From the moment a player appears on our radar at one of our Youth Week tournaments, we will be able to track his performance and development all the way through to his retirement,' said Roux.

'We’ll be able to log every minute he has played for all teams, we’ll have analysed every action in every match for our national teams, we’ll have a full picture of his entire medical history and we’ll have been able to identify his strengths and weaknesses and discussed those with every coach he will have in his career.'

The new Strategic Performance Management will be run by Mervin Green, and will be solely responsible for monitoring transformation within rugby.

'Transformation is something we have worked very hard on in recent years and spent many thousands of hours on with roadshows, workshops and audits to develop our strategic approach,' said Roux.

'We have to measure it to be able to manage it and the new Strategic Performance Management department will have that sole focus, aligned to the expectations we place on ourselves internally and those that are placed on us by our external stakeholders such as Sascoc and Government.'

The new structure will come into full effect from the New Year.

Read Saru's 91-page transformation plan

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix