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Treu: Did he walk or was he axed?

Tue, 13 Aug 2013 18:59
Paul-treu-media2 Paul-treu-media Paul-treu-pensive
He has a desire to go to the Olympic Games
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Uncertainty surrounds the announcement that Paul Treu has agreed to step down as coach of the South African Sevens team.

It was announced that Treu vacated his position following discussions with South African Rugby Union (SARU) President, Oregan Hoskins, CEO Jurie Roux, players and other Sevens stakeholders on Tuesday.

Hoskins said a mutual decision had been reached to seek a new head coach for the Springbok Sevens team.

However, it remains uncertain whether or not Treu was pressured into agreeing to part ways prior to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Treu had long spoken of his desire to coach the team at the Games, a desire acknowledged by Hoskins on Tuesday, with Hoskins adding that no alternatives could be agreed to keep Treu at SARU.

It raises questions as to whether Treu had been encouraged to vacate the head coaching role and consequently turned down other roles within the set-up after being pushed out of the door.

Playing affairs will be handled in the interim by Neil Powell and Vuyo Zangqa, who recently led the team to the World Games gold medal in Colombia, with Sebastian Prim staying on as team manager, while Treu will weigh up “other options.”

Hoskins thanked Treu for his services to Springbok Sevens rugby and paid tribute to the contribution he had made to developing the seven-a-side game in the country.

“Paul’s contribution to Sevens rugby in this country over the past decade has been outstanding,” said Hoskins.

“He has built the team and the brand of Sevens rugby through his passion and expertise and has made our Springbok team a regular contender for tournament and series honours. He has established our Sevens programme and made an enormous contribution to the game.

“However, there comes a point where there is a need for renewal and in discussions with Paul and other stakeholders, there was a general sentiment that we had reached that point.  

“Paul has other options, and we also had other roles in mind for him, but it was clear that a natural time had come for all parties to seek a new direction.

“We did discuss other alternatives to retain Paul at SARU but he has an understandable desire to go to the Olympic Games in 2016. We hope to see him working in South African rugby again in due course.”

Treu said: “I have had a wonderful time at SARU and would like to thank the organisation for the opportunity they have given me. We have had some wonderful highs in the past 10 seasons and I hope I have added value to South African rugby.

“This was a decision I had thought long and hard about for some time and those close to me will know that it was something that I had agonised over. But I believed the time was right to move on - both for me and the team - and I wish them all success in the future.”

Treu was appointed as Sevens coach in 2004 after representing the team from 1999 to 2002 at sweeper and later as captain. As coach he led the team to the IRB World Sevens Series title in 2008/09 and won 14 tournaments on the Sevens Series circuit.

He coached the team in three Sevens Rugby World Cups and took the team to bronze at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010.

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