If there’s one thing that you can add to BlitzBokke coach Paul Treu’s arsenal of skills coaches, it’s that he has NO scruples in choosing the best of the best in preparing his charges for their quest to re-gain their IRB Sevens World Series crown, be they career & personal development, psychological development or, in this case… skills development.
SA Rugby today revealed that our coach has pulled in an Aussie (Yes… you read that right) an Australian, to assist the BlitzBokke with their preparation in Wellington, New Zealand. The IRB Sevens World Series resumes in the New Zealand North Island city of Wellington with the NZI Sevens (5-6 February, 2010).
Former Reds skills coach and Australian touch rugby expert Jason Stanton has joined the Springbok Sevens team in Wellington to assist the South Africans in their preparations for the Wellington Sevens tournament which starts on Friday in the New Zealand capital.
Stanton helped Australia to three consecutive Touch Rugby world titles, is a former skills coach of the Australian Super Rugby franchise the Queensland Reds, and last year he guided the Australian Women’s team to victory in the inaugural IRB Sevens World Cup in Dubai.
“Jason has an amazing track record as a skills coach and he is obviously highly respected in both Rugby and Touch Rugby circles. He has a refreshingly different approach to skills coaching and I am delighted that has joined us for the week in Wellington,” said Treu.
Treu guided the Springbok Sevens to IRB Series honours last season, but he and his team has found the going extremely tough during the opening part of the new campaign.
Injuries to key players and the loss of several regulars to provincial and Super Rugby has dealt the team a heavy blow, and South Africa is currently in eighth place on the log with 16 points. New Zealand leads the title chase with the maximum 48 points after tournament victories in Dubai and George in December.
Treu has arranged a warm-up match against Tonga on Wednesday and he is very keen to give all four newcomers a run against the physical Pacific Islanders.
“We play Niue in our first match on Friday and Tonga would therefore be the ideal team to prepare against as they play a very similar style of rugby. Chase Minnaar and Marius Schoeman might not play because both of them have a bit of an upset stomach problem, but they should be okay for the captain’s run on Thursday,” explained Treu.
South Africa’s second match on Friday is against the Sevens World Cup winners Wales and they end the first day with a tough assignment against hosts and tournament favourites New Zealand.