South Africa have lost the services of the Welshman who played a key part in the Springboks’ 2019 World Cup triumph. Aled Walters joined Rassie Erasmus as his head of athletic performance in 2018 after initially working with the South African World Cup-winning coach at Irish province Munster. However, rather than stay on under new boss Jacques Nienaber, another colleague he first met at Munster, family reasons will see Walters take up a position back in the UK.
“It’s obviously sad to lose someone of Aled’s ability, but we understand that 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 I know that while the whole squad will be sad to see him go, he will also have our very best wishes for the future.”
Walters added: “My tenure with the Springboks 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.”
The departure of Walters means that the focus for all three of the Munster staff Erasmus has with him in South Africa has now changed since winning the World Cup. With Erasmus himself concentrating on his director of rugby role, Nienaber is stepping up from defence coach to become head coach.
Meanwhile, ex-Munster assistant Felix Jones, who filled in as a technical coach in the run-up to the finals after illness ruled out Swys de Bruin, switched to a European-based coaching consultancy role earlier this year.
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