Dawie Theron appointed as SA Under-20 coach

Written by Clayton Saville (Clayton(PJLD))

Posted in :In the news, Original Content on 24 Nov 2010 at 16:29

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Wednesday announced the appointment of GWK Griquas coach Dawie Theron as the head coach of the SA Under-20 team for a term of three years.

Theron brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to the job which he acquired in roles head coach, assistant-coach, consultant and tour manager with the GWK Griquas and Vodacom Cheetahs Super Rugby franchise respectively.

 “I have really enjoyed my time with the GWK Griquas, but this is a rare opportunity for a coach to lead a national rugby side such as the SA Under-20s,” said Theron.

“I am sure there will be challenges but that is what makes rugby so special. We have an unbelievable amount of talented youngsters playing the game in South Africa and I am looking forward to the opportunity to working with them.

“My first task will be to listen and speak to the various rugby structures at SARU and will then take my lead from them. I firmly believe that SARU have good structures in place and it is important that everyone is on the same page to ensure the success of our junior teams.”

The following recruitment process was followed in appointing Theron:

  • The job was advertised internally (SARU and the Provinces);
  • A short-listing exercise was done where applicants’ experience and knowledge were assessed against the minimum criteria outlined in the job advertisement;
  • An independent selection panel interviewed the shortlisted candidates using competency based interview questions;
  • A Psychometric Assessment was done on those candidates who were successful in the interview process;
  • A final panel interview was held to assess the candidates on the presentation based on a case study they were given.

 SARU CEO, Jurie Roux, congratulated Theron on his appointment. He added that Theron will work closely with the national selectors to first identify and then prepare a group of players in preparation of the 2011 IRB Junior World Championships in Italy.

 “The SA Under-20 coaching position is a vital appointment in terms SARU’s strategic vision for developing talented young players,” said Roux. 

 “We are pleased to have acquired a coach of his calibre and his record at Griquas is an indication of his ability to spot and nurture talent and to develop them into first class professional players.”


  • Great appointment. I hope this sees him taking a step up the local coaching rankings. He’s worked wonders with loads of young players and Bjorn Basson (along with Sarel and Riaan during last years EOYT) owe him a fair deal for their Springbok caps.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.11.10 16:37:42 by C-Jam Reply
  • @C-Jam (Comment 1) : agree… a damn fine coach, but I wonder what this means for Griquas

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.11.10 16:44:40 by robdylan Reply
  • So will he be taking over from PdV after the world cup then? Seeing as that seems to be the trend since Jake White. 😈

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.11.10 17:28:47 by McLovin Reply
  • Wasn’t there a rumour some time ago that the u/20 coach would be apppinted bit that he would then help the Boks?……..

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.11.10 17:29:07 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • this is a good decision well done SARU

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.11.10 17:36:07 by RuckingFun Reply
  • Good replacement. Eric Sauls did nothing with the team in 3 years.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.11.10 17:46:13 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter lostfish
  • @lostfish (Comment 6) : Hope he is not lined up for the Bok job 😉

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.11.10 08:12:02 by Whindy Reply
  • Hi Clayton and Rob: do you guys know what kind of structures are in place to help the new u20 coach? Given his Griquas commitments he probably hasn’t had any time to assess the players on offer at u19 and schoolboy levels. To me it looks like our current setup in SA makes it difficult to succeed at the u20 RWC. Our main strength vs strength junior competitions only get underway after the u20 RWC and even then the best 20 year olds who gain valuable experience at this u21 level are obviously not eligible for SA u20 selection the following year. How does the coach ID and select the form players in 2011?
    I was thinking of a guy like Francois Kleinhans who has had a great u19 season. I thought he stood a good chance of leapfrogging some of the better known u19 players to make the SAu20 team in 2011. But that could all have changed now with a new coach on board. How does a guy like Kleinhans go about proving his the man of the job in the 1st 6 months of 2011?

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.11.10 08:32:52 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld beet
  • @beet (Comment 8) : I’ve edited your comment. We don’t allow the “q” word here

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.11.10 10:22:53 by robdylan Reply
  • @beet (Comment 8) : as for your question about selection – I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. My gut feel is that these teams tend to get picked based on historic craven week form. The bulk of the squad will probably come from the SA Under 18 HP squad too. Not sure how much they’ll look at form from the u19 comp. Which is a shame.

    Fact is, with the young talent we have in SA, we should WALK that IRB Junior Championship every year.

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.11.10 10:26:50 by robdylan Reply
  • Does this mean Griquas need a new coach?

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.11.10 10:44:45 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Champion (Comment 11) : you want to apply? 😎

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.11.10 10:55:48 by VanWilder Reply
  • @VanWilder (Comment 12) : No thanks, I`ve got my eye on the Bok job!
    Me and Plum . .. they might as well hand over the World Cup right now LOL!

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.11.10 10:58:02 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Oops sorry Rob. I just read all the rules. They make good sense. I didn’t mean it in a bad way but will be more careful in future. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.11.10 12:12:15 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld beet
  • @beet (Comment 14) : no worries bud

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.11.10 12:22:13 by robdylan Reply
  • How good is he really? ..are we counting vodacom cup success ,ie finals and semi’s?

    Always difficult to beat at kimberley..well,until facing full-strenght cc teams (bulls,wp,sharks)..
    What about a jimmy stonehouse..?

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.11.10 13:10:37 by bergshark Reply
  • Who else applied for the job?

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.11.10 13:14:32 by bergshark Reply
  • @beet (Comment 8) : @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    You will find that coaches today have quite comprehensive databases of players at all levels and all age-groups.

    It is the reality of coaching today, and a guy like Dawie will be accutely aware of the situation at age-group level since Griquas will only be able to pick up the scraps once the bigger unions hauled out the big chequebooks for the ‘popular’ players.

    Talent identification then will be a strong point for Dawie where he will have to rely more on just a player’s reputation (Craven week, went to school A, B or C) and actually look at any youngster’s rugby ability.

    Another great strength of Dawie will be the fact that he is almost used to building a new team or squad every year after Griquas gets raped and pillaged from bigger unions contracting the stars he has unearthed through above mentioned scouting abilities.

    Dawie is also big on discipline, which is vital in a youth structure environment.

    I wish him all the best, and I am sure I will see Dawie in a Bok coach senior blazer in years to come.

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.11.10 13:16:33 by Morné Reply
  • I’m somehow not sold on the idea of theron as u20 coach..but I 100% hope he proves me wrong!! 🙂

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.11.10 13:24:47 by bergshark Reply
  • I really like Dawie and is very stoked for his sake! He has done well ar Griquas and as Morne pointed ou – “building teams that can be in contention” from scratch!

    I do feel for Griquas though – he was somewhat the glue in that Union and I do have a soft spot for these outjies!

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.11.10 13:28:34 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
  • BTW – where is WES??? I am eating the most delicious peri-peri chicken liver pizza EVER!! 😀

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.11.10 13:29:18 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
  • Big on discipline? Is he a bit of an authoritarian,then?’N kwaai pappa?

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.11.10 13:30:44 by bergshark Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 18) : Thanks Morné. That was useful feedback.
    How do you think Theron makes use of the next few months leading up to the selection of his SA u20 squad? Does he follow club games or organise training sessions or what?

    I must say I can’t consider myself a fan of Griquas but I admire what they’ve achieved in the C/C Prem Div over the years while other smaller Unions have struggled to stay up during the same period.

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.11.10 15:14:55 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld beet
  • @beet (Comment 23) :

    In my mind the first logical step would be to asses ones structures which is what Dawie will do I am sure.

    Look at the existing structures that support age group rugby at national, provincial and club/school level.

    Secondly I would look at support structures and staff I would want to bring on-board. Now SA Rugby already employ a host of people whose job it is to identify, nurture and manage age group rugby projects. This would include U/16 and U/18 national competitions like the Craven Week, high performance squads etc.

    These are things (SA Rugby controlled) which he can influence/change directly.

    I would then personally go and see each rugby union in SA to build up a relationship especially with their U/19 coaches.

    Lastly I would make a point of getting in contact with at least the top 20 schools in SA. Ask SA Rugby for financial backing and get the coaches to collect video material on games of their schools and players and possibly ask them for quarterly reports on players they reckon to watch, or on the up.

    This will give Dawie a base of well over 500 of the top talent in SA.

    He is on a three year contract so I would imagine that he will depend quite a bit on the current structures for the first year, following which his programs with unions and schools should start kicking in nicely.

    In order, his priorities should include;


    Each of those main criteria’s would have about 10 sub-divisions with a structure in place to support it.

    In my mind, Dawie’s success is not so much in winning the IRB U/20 comps, it is how many Boks that comes through his structures end up in the senior team in 2 or 3 years from now.

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.11.10 15:44:14 by Morné Reply
  • I have a rugby 15 issue nov(?)2002,where they talk about the various structures to be put in place to help nurture talented youngsters into bok players(from grassroots level to springbok)..u16 high performance squad etc..yet for the past few years @age group comp our players have looked under-sized,under-skilled and under-coached compared against players from nz,eng and aus!! Yet every cw we must hear that said rugby week is the envy of the whole world,our schoolboy rugby players are the biggest and and and (angry face)..

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.11.10 16:20:34 by bergshark Reply
  • @Whindy (Comment 7) : That would be another SARU disaster

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.11.10 17:03:31 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter lostfish
  • @Morné (Comment 18) : @Morné (Comment 24) : Good informative comments Morne. Thanks. After Theron’s 3 years are up, maybe you should apply for the job. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 25.11.10 18:58:13 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Letgo
  • @Letgo (Comment 27) :

    I am not brave enough to face SA Rugby yet!

  • Comment 28, posted at 25.11.10 20:07:59 by Morné Reply

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