Coaches consolidate efforts

Vodacom Super 14 coaches together with Jake White will take a collective decision on how South Africa’s elite players will be managed ahead of the 2007 World Cup.

On Monday White met with the coaches of the five franchises (the Southern Spears excluded) to discuss the issue of player management in the months leading up to the showpiece tournament in France.

It has long been suggested that the franchises and the national coach work more closely and make decisions that are geared towards the advancement of the game in South Africa and this meeting is the initial step to the realisation of that goal.

“It was a good discussion,” White told Beeld. “We decided to help each other, not only with information about opponents, but also in terms of tactics and game-plans.

“We will talk to each other about the management of players,” White said, adding that he would not at this stage request that certain players be rested for a specific period. “We will meet monthly and discuss these matters.”

Meanwhile the Springboks have been in a training camp in preparation of their year-end tours to England and Ireland.

Strength and conditioning coach Derick Coetzee was said he was “very satisfied” with the player’s physical condition, which he says has shown a marked improvement from their last assessment.

“CJ van der Linde can now bench-press 190kg and Bryan Habana has improved from 140 to 160kg. All the others are also stronger and their speed has increased remarkably.”

He added that he expected the Vodacom Super 14 franchises to benefit from the withdrawal of the contracted Springboks from this year’s Absa Currie Cup.