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Former Ireland international Lynne Cantwell takes new role with South Africa Rugby

Cantwell will become SA Rugby’s first High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby.

Lynne Cantwell is SA Rugby's new High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby.
Lynne Cantwell is SA Rugby's new High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

FORMER IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Lynne Cantwell has taken a new high-profile role with South Africa Rugby, becoming the union’s first High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby.

The appointment of Cantwell, capped 86 times for Ireland and a member of the 2013 Grand Slam winning team, comes as part of what SA Rugby describe as a re-focus of its approach to women’s rugby.

Cantwell, who previously served as an Executive Committee Board member with Sport Ireland, said: “Globally women’s rugby has been recognised as the strategic growth area for the game where it is experiencing rapid transformation as a result of World Rugby’s focus.

“At SA Rugby, we are committed to progress but recognise the work that needs to be done to repair and rebuild in order to move forward. I think the women’s rugby community in South Africa has a unique identity and strength, with a bright future.

“I look forward to working with everyone to design an environment that allows South African women’s talent to thrive.

lynne-cantwell Cantwell represented Ireland 86 times. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I am excited and naturally a bit nervous about the big move over to South Africa for me and my family, but I feel incredibly comforted by the warm welcome I have been given internally at SA Rugby, by the players and management, and the provincial CEOs.

“I am intensely motivated to progress women’s rugby and women’s involvement in rugby, and the backing a leadership level from Jurie, Rassie and Charles was central to my decision to join the team.”

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux, said: “If we’re serious about women’s rugby – and we are – we had to make a serious appointment, and we have.

“Lynne comes on board at a time when we have committed to growing the game amongst women – a directive from World Rugby and a South African national imperative – and she will work closely with Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby), Charles Wessels (GM: Rugby) and Springbok Women’s head coach Stanley Raubenheimer to improve the women’s game in South Africa.”

The Springboks are in Pool C for this year’s Rugby World Cup, due to take place in New Zealand in September, where they will play England, France and Fiji.

Former Munster coach Erasmus said the decision to create the role came on the back of a realisation that the union lacked expertise in the area.

“We have a rugby department and had a manager for women’s rugby, and we had done as much as we knew but we realised we lacked expertise and experience in the women’s high performance area,” he said.

“We re-focused our approach and we’re very glad and excited to be able to bring someone with Lynne’s experience and skills into the South African environment.

“We’re realistic about the fact that the short-term impact might not be all that obvious in results, but I have no doubt that the skills transfer and long-term impact will be a massive benefit to women’s rugby in South Africa.”

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey take the fine-tooth comb to Ireland’s defeat to France and get to the bottom of their issues on both sides of the ball:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud


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