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Why Straeuli is the right fit for Lions

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 08:57
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There are plenty of boxes he can tick for us
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Rudolf Straeuli's reported shift from Kings Park to Ellis Park is not a done deal yet, but there are plenty of good reasons why it will happen.

Golden Lions Rugby Union CEO Manie Booysen confirmed to this website that they are "in conversation" with Straeuli at this stage.

"However, nothing has been finalised," Booysen said of the reports that Straeuli is set to leave the Sharks to take up a role with the Lions.

The Sharks commercial manager, who played 10 Tests for the Springboks and was a member of the 1995 World Cup-winning team, will reportedly leave his post at the end of this month.

Booysen said that they should have an answer in the "not too distant future".

"It is part of the process we are going through to rebuild, as well as part of the process to recover and restructure," Booysen told this website, when asked for the reasons behind their negotiations with a man who has been involved in the Sharks set-up for almost a decade - after quitting as Bok coach - and has been Commercial Manager at the Durban franchise.

Booysen said he may well fill a similar role at Ellis Park.

"We are looking specifically at the administrative and commercial side," the Lions CEO said, adding that he will be involved in recruiting in some way.

"Rudolf is a very useful person," Booysen said, adding: "He has a lot of skills, background and training that are not to be sneezed at.

"There are plenty of boxes he can tick for us.

"We needed to get the structures in place, as we have had a tough year."

The Lions CEO said Straeuli will most likely be involved in recruiting at a senior level, although finer details still needed to be discussed.

"We do have [recruitment] systems in place, but Rudolf can add value in that regard."

Straeuli is contracted to the Sharks until the end of 2014, but it has been reported that an agreement with Sharks CEO John has been reached and he will depart a year early.

The Lions are desperate to rebuild and retain a strong player base, fit to compete in Super Rugby, following the mass exodus in the last few years - especially after they were axed from Super Rugby in 2013.

The 50-year-old Straeuli also coached the Sharks from 1999 to 2001, before taking over as Bok coach from Harry Viljoen in 2002.

By Jan de Koning

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