The Springboks will utilise the skills of Richie Gray as breakdown consultant for the remainder of the Test season in 2013.
Gray joined the Springboks at their training camp in Johannesburg on Monday and although he isn’t officially part of the Springbok team management, his skills in the vital area of the breakdown will be invaluable as the team start their preparations for The Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has stressed the importance of the breakdown and has identified it as one of the key areas going forward.
“There are between 120 and 160 rucks in every game and last year we’ve seen that it’s an area of the game where we can vastly improve,” said Meyer.
“I do think there has already been a step up in the way the Springboks and the Vodacom Super Rugby franchises played the breakdowns this season, but we can definitely improve further.
“Richie brings a lot of knowledge on the breakdowns and I’m confident he will be able to add a lot of value in the coming months. I’ve known Richie for a decade and I have always been very impressed with his level of dedication when it comes to ruck play.”
The 43-year-old Gray, who has coached at various levels in his native Scotland and all over the world, also worked with SARU’s High Performance Department earlier this year.
He is regarded, through his innovative work with specific training equipment for Rugby Union, as one of the foremost thinkers of coaching methods relating to the breakdown area.
Gray started an in-depth analysis of the breakdown a number of years ago and has developed a technical training product called “Collision King”, which relate specifically to the breakdown and won the Best Technical Innovation Award at the Rugby Expo in 2011.