SA Rugby (www.SARugby.co.za) has reoriented its approach to women’s rugby as a major strategic objective for the organization, Jurie Roux, CEO, said Thursday.
The Springbok Women will take part in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in September and do so with the support of SA Rugby’s first high performance manager for women’s rugby.
Roux has announced that former Irish captain Lynne Cantwell has been drawn to South Africa to fill the role in a departmental redevelopment.
“If we’re serious about women’s rugby – and we are – we had to make a serious date, and we did,” Roux said.
“Lynne arrives on board at a time when we are committed to developing women’s football – a directive from World Rugby and a South African national imperative – and she will work closely with Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby), Charles Wessels ( General Manager: Rugby) and Springbok Women’s Head Coach Stanley Raubenheimer to improve the women’s game in South Africa.
Cantwell, who was a member of Sport Ireland’s executive committee, said: “Women’s rugby globally has been recognized as the strategic growth area of the game where it is undergoing rapid transformation due to the concentration of World Rugby. .
“At SA Rugby, we are committed to progress but recognize the work that must be done to repair and rebuild in order to move forward.
“I think the women’s rugby community in South Africa has a unique identity and strength, with a bright future. I look forward to working with everyone to design an environment that allows the talents of South African women to flourish, ”she added.
Cantwell holds a BS in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Limerick in Ireland and an MS in Physiotherapy from the University of Southampton in England. The former away center, who amassed 86 test caps for Ireland, said joining SA Rugby presented him with a number of exciting challenges.
“I’m excited and understandably a little nervous about the big move to South Africa for myself and my family, but I feel incredibly comforted by the warm welcome extended to me internally at SA Rugby, by the players and management, and the provincial CEO, ”Cantwell said.
“I am extremely motivated to advance women’s rugby and the involvement of women in rugby, and the support of a level of leadership from Jurie, Rassie and Charles was central to my decision to join the team.
Erasmus said the role and appointment was made after a critical reassessment of SA Rugby’s approach to women’s rugby.
“We have a rugby department and a manager for women’s rugby, and we did everything we knew, but realized that we lacked expertise and experience in the area of high performance women,” said declared Erasmus.
“We have reoriented our approach and we are very happy and excited to be able to bring someone with Lynne’s experience and skills into the South African environment.
“We are realistic that the short-term impact may not be so obvious in terms of results, but I am convinced that the transfer of skills and the long-term impact will be of huge benefit to the company. women’s rugby in South Africa.
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