A key member of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup coaching machinery in Aled Walters has left SA Rugby.
The Welshman‚ who was the head of athletic performance‚ will be released from his contract and will join an overseas club next month.
Walters‚ who joined the Springboks alongside former coach and current director of rugby Rassie Erasmus‚ has been an integral part of the Springbok coaching set-up.
The Boks haven’t wavered on their fitness and conditioning levels in the past two years‚ and this can be attributed to Walters and the communication between the national team and the franchises.
Erasmus said it was a blow for the Springboks to lose someone of Walters’ ability‚ but said they respected his decision.
“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‚” Erasmus said.
“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 United Kingdom.”
Walters‚ who holds a BSc Degree in Physical Education and Sports Science from Loughborough University and an MSc degree in strength and conditioning from the University of Edinburgh‚ said he enjoyed his time with the Springboks‚ but needed to be closer to home.
Walters‚ who has worked for Taranaki in New Zealand‚ the Brumbies in Australia and Munster in Ireland‚ joined the Boks with Erasmus in 2018.
“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‚” said Walters.