Aled Walters left Springboks to join Leicester Tigers
JOHANNESBURG – Leicester Tigers on Wednesday confirmed the appointment Aled Walters as Head of Physical Performance.
SA Rugby announced on Wednesday that Walters was leaving the Springboks for "personal reasons."
Walters joins Tigers from South Africa, where he has been the Head of Athletic Performance at SA Rugby since 2018 and played a key role in the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning exploits
The Welsh-born Walters completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Sports Science at Loughborough University in 2002 before completing his Master of Science, Strength and Conditioning at Edinburgh.
He spent four seasons with the Scarlets before taking on the role of head of strength and conditioning at Taranaki and then athletic performance coach at the Brumbies in Super Rugby.
In 2012, Walters became head of athletic performance / strength and conditioning at Munster Rugby for six years ahead of being recruited to head up the Springboks programme.
Speaking about his appointment at Tigers, Walters admitted to having been a long-time admirer of the club from afar.
“I grew up a staunch Scarlets fan and have a lot of history with Leicester,” he said. “I was there when the famous Tim Stimpson penalty went over.”
He added: “You have to fit the culture and I definitely appreciate that. That’s why teams like Leicester are more attractive to me. Leicester is a very similar club to Munster and Scarlets – it’s a working-class area, they’re tougher people and that’s something that definitely appealed to me.”
Walters accepted leaving the world champions was not a decision he made lightly, but said the parallels between Tigers and the Springboks he joined in 2018 were clear.
“It’s a genuine privilege and I don’t take leaving a World Cup team lightly,” he said. “It’s a very similar challenge to a couple of years ago, when I was approached to join the South African team who were playing below par.
“I see this as a similar scenario, and what I know first-hand is that things can change, but it takes a lot of hard work and only happens if everyone buys into it."
“The challenge wouldn’t be as attractive if I didn’t believe there were things in place to turn things around and get the job done.”
“I have got a massive respect for Tigers, it’s a massive club and one of the biggest in Europe.”
African News Agency (ANA)