Rassie Erasmus: Sad to lose someone of Aled Walters' ability
JOHANNESBURG - The World Cup winning Springboks have lost another key member of their management team, just months after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan in November last year.
Head of Athletic Performance (or strength and conditioning coach) Aled Walters requested, and was granted, an early release from his contract with SA Rugby and he will return home to the UK. He will take up a new role with a club from June.
Walters took charge of the Boks’ fitness soon after now director of rugby Rassie Erasmus returned to SA Rugby from Ireland in 2018. Both worked at Munster.
Erasmus, who coached the Boks to World Cup glory last year, paid tribute to Walters. “It’s obviously sad to lose someone of Aled’s ability, but we understand the unprecedented times we are in brings about difficult challenges and we respect his wish to return to the UK,” said Erasmus.
“Aled has made an enormous impact since joining the Springboks in 2018 and while I know that the whole squad will be sad to see him go, he will also have our best wishes for the future.”
💢 BREAKING: @AledWalters will leave the Boks to return to the UK— Springboks (@Springboks) May 5, 2020
🏉 He was the Springboks’ Head of Athletic Performance since 2018
🗣 “Aled made an enormous impact and the whole squad will be sad to see him go"
🔗 https://t.co/SwoSVdraId#StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/kun5FLb4Nk
Walters said his return to the UK was for personal reasons.
“My tenure with the Boks can be described as some of the best times I’ve had in rugby, but these are uncertain times and the wish to be closer to families based in Wales and Ireland was a key consideration in making what was a very hard decision,” said Walters.
A replacement for Walters will be made in due course.
The Boks’ World Cup winning scrum coach, Matt Proudfoot, has also moved on since helping the team win in Japan last year. Proudfoot joined England as their scrum coach under Eddie Jones late last year.@jacq_west