Rassie makes his first move
NEWS: The South Africa Rugby Union's Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has made his first significant appointment of his new term.
While all and sundry are holding their collective breath to see if he will replace Allister Coetzee as coach of the Springbok team, it is in the Sevens structures where Erasmus made his first move.
Renfred Dazel has been moved from the national women's Sevens team to the senior men's Sevens coaching staff.
Erasmus promoted Paul Delport into the position of coach for the women's Sevens team.
Former BlitzBok stalwart Dazel, who coached the women's Sevens team since October 2013, joined Neil Powell as assistant coach for the men's Sevens team.
The BlitzBoks started their preparations for the next two tournaments of the 2017/18 World Sevens Series.
Delport, a former captain of the BlitzBoks, has been elevated to the women's Sevens role after serving as SA Sevens Academy assistant coach in recent seasons.
In another coaching addition, Warren Adams has been seconded from the Springbok management team to the position of strength and conditioning coach for the Sevens team, which was left vacant by the departure of Allan Temple-Jones last year.
"These appointments will not only streamline our sevens operations, but will further strengthen the working relationships between our national Sevens teams based in Stellenbosch," Erasmus said.
"The BlitzBoks have a full season ahead of them, with not only eight tournaments left in the World Series, but also a Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup on the horizon, so it was important to strengthen the management structures.
"Neil [Powell] requested the appointment of an assistant coach a while ago and he and Renfred enjoyed a solid relationship over many years, so it will be an easy fit.
"Warren is highly-rated in his field and has worked with the Sevens team before, so is ideally suited to fill the vacancy left by Allan."
Erasmus said the elevation of Delport is well-deserved for the former BlitzBok captain.
"Paul has done really good work with the SA Rugby Sevens Academy team and has grown tremendously as a coach over the last couple of years.
"He has worked with the Springbok Women's Sevens before, so there is no issue with continuity in their set-up. They are playing at a tournament in Australia early next month and will also be in action at the Commonwealth Games and Rugby Sevens World Cup later this year, so Paul will be busy in the next couple of months.
"The other important factor in all these appointments is the fact that they all are familiar with the structures and values associated with the sevens culture," added Erasmus.
The BlitzBoks will travel to Australia later this month for the Sydney leg of the World Series, the third tournament in the 10-tournament world circuit.