Rugby indaba 'the best route to get it right'

25 September 2016 - 01:39 By CRAIG RAY

Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee is the architect behind the national coaches' indaba, which takes place in late October, as he tries to find answers to South African rugby's problems. The Boks are in the middle of a poor Rugby Championship campaign after three losses from four matches while South Africa's Super Rugby standard has also slipped.Coetzee engaged with the six Super Rugby coaches before the June home series against Ireland to ascertain if there was openness and willingness to share ideas and pull in the same direction to ultimately improve the Springboks.Sharks rugby director and Super Rugby coach Gary Gold believes that the new generation of Super Rugby coaches not only like the idea, but will also drive the outcomes of the indaba.Gold is in a unique position, having been a Springbok assistant coach for four years between 2008 and 2011. He understands both perspectives.story_article_left1"For a long time there has been criticism that SA coaches don't collaborate but that is changing," Gold said. "Last week, most of us were in Sydney at the SA, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby conference and we shared ideas for the betterment of the game."The bottom line is that the game in New Zealand is so healthy because their Super Rugby is healthy. There is no getting around it."In SA and Australia, the national teams are battling because the Super Rugby teams are not up to standard. There are one or two exceptions but across the board standards have to rise."If we as Super Rugby coaches collaborate and work in conjunction with Allister, then we'll all be in a better place. If the only thing that comes out of this meeting is that we agree on what the DNA of SA Rugby is, and what area we want to have as a point of difference from the rest of the world, then we've achieved something."The formal agenda of the indaba has not been finalised but among the topics will be a tactical blueprint for SA Rugby, player welfare and, most importantly, player conditioning.It's a widely acknowledged view that New Zealand players are fitter than any of their international contemporaries and Gold and the other coaches understand that to be competitive, fitness levels have to improve."Better conditioning is essential," Gold said. "But this is not about toppling New Zealand. It's rather to find common ground for SA rugby."

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