An announcement was made recently on the return to non-contact training for all amateur rugby – schools, clubs and associations – within specific safety conditions required by the current COVID-19 pandemic, in light of the recent easing of adjusted lockdown regulations.

To further assist and educate players from the various Under-18 age groups, SA Rugby’s Rugby Department will share their expertise online and in real time with players, coaches and parents at school level.

The programme – which will run from 4 March until 1 April 2021 – was compiled by Hilton Adonis (Manager: Training and Education), Louis Koen (Manager: High Performance Programmes), as well as Herman Masimla and Nico Serfontein, who spearhead the Elite Player Development (EPD) programmes.

“Our online coaching webinar series last year was a massive success and we decided to do something similar, specifically to assist players at school with the best way to get back into action again after a very long time away from the game,” said Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby).

“Hilton, Louis, Herman and Nico have put in a lot of effort and done great work in this regard, and the series of webinars will be of great value for any player, coach or parent from Under-15 level upwards.

“While the focus will be on the better players, who have been identified as part of our EPD programmes, any players who are keen to lace up their boots again will find benefit from the information we’re planning to share.”

Four webinars are planned, as well as a final interactive session where parents, players and coaches will have the opportunity to interact with staff from the Rugby Department.

The first session, which will be conducted by Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber and his Junior Springbok counterpart Bafana Nhleko, will discuss the national coaching blueprint (4 March).

This will be followed by a session on strength and conditioning (11 March), hosted by SA Rugby’s head S&C coach, Tim Qumbu.

SA Rugby Nutritionists Zeenat Simjee and Robyn Moore will talk about diet and the use of supplements (18 March), and the last session, on training management during COVID-19, will be hosted by Springbok Women's head coach Stanley Raubenheimer (25 March).

The series will conclude with a live feedback and information session on 1 April.

Schools will be informed via their provinces on the details of the webinars, and those looking for more information are urged to get in touch with their provincial unions.