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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


SA Unions/Teams: White gets help in talent search

Story Source:

An Englishman, an Irishman and....

In an attempt to identify talented black players Jake White, the Springbok coach, has called in help. The help includes Jonathan Callard and Mickey Ned O'Sullivan.

Callard is the former England fullback who, a former schoolmaster, went on to coach Bath and then England Under-21.

Mickey Ned O'Sullivan is a Kerryman, famous in Gaelic football circles and the coach of Limerick's side. The invitation to him came via the former Ireland rugby full-back Conor O'Shea, whose father Jerome won three All-Ireland medals with Kerry. O'Shea is now director of the English Rugby Union's College of Excellence. Contacted by SARU he put them in touch with O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan told Jerome O'Connell of the Limerick Leader that he would giving advice on catching the high ball. He said: "I will be talking to both skill coaches and conditioning coaches, and hopefully my input will help to improve the players' catching of the high ball.

"The South African officials have seen Gaelic football, so they are aware of the high-catching skills in the game. The fielding of a high ball after a garryowen is a very important element of rugby. Also, it would be a huge plus for a winger, if, following a cross-field kick by the out-half, he could catch the ball at a high, rather than waist, level. That would give him an all-important extra second to get away from a tackler."

Callard and O'Sullivan are part of a High Performance practice group coordinated by the former Springbok centre Brendan Venter who, like O'Shea, was involved at London Irish as player and coach.

De Jongh Borchardt of Beeld reports that the programme will start in Johannesburg with players from the Cats and the Cheetahs. On Wednesday they move to the Bulls in Pretoria, on Thursday to the Sharks in Durban and on Friday to the Stormers in Cape Town - a rushed programme.

The High Performance group is White's idea to aid the identification and development of black players, providing them with the support they would need. This week's sessions will concentrate on kicking and catching.

Other aspects which will receive attention are skill at the breakdown, diet, visual skills, psychology, conditioning, handling and the avoidance of injuries.

forward thinking.


professional approach by getting help from abroad.

i like it.

well done boys, whoever is responsible for making this happen.
So there's a modicum of intelligence at coaching level, with the Cats actively promoting black players in their squad (at the moment 25% of Cats players are black and until the selection of the Spears squad we were the leading edge of identifying black talent.

The Bulls have a similar development programme.

Intelligent things are happening north of the Vaal with the identification, contracting and development of black players.

Now another brilliant and innovative decision from Jake White and implemented. How is it that out of all the excrement, we can occasionally see a sudden and unexpected wave of intelligence from SARU?

Who came up with this plan? I thought Brendan Venter was involved with the Stromers?
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