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Episode 32: Ed Coetzee - The business of rugby
One of rugby’s great myths is that the forwards are always the unthinking, heavy lifters, while the backs have all the brains. It probably comes from a small sample of players back in the sport’s sepia-toned past, but times have changed. Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee was a prop – and a very good one at that – he played Super Rugby for the Sharks, for South Africa ‘A’ and spent eight years playing in France for Biarritz. He is anything but unthinking or brainless, and as rugby enters a new post-Covid-19 world, the challenges that the game faced before the pandemic ravaged the planet, have been exacerbated by six months of lockdown. Previous business models have to be torn up and re-engineered. For the next few years at least, professional rugby in South Africa and globally too, will be in a precarious position. It will take bold, innovative young leaders such as Coetzee to navigate a way through these turbulent times.
Episode 31: Corne Krige - The hard truth
As a rugby player he was tougher than complex quantum physics and more courageous than a wounded lion. He captained the Springboks 18 times and played 39 Tests at a time when Bok rugby was in a deep state of flux and going through coaches as quickly as Cheslin Kolbe goes through defenses. The enduring image of Corne Krige is one of a bloodied and bruised, but never cowed, player. He played every game as if it were his last – sometimes, by his own admission, stepping over the line whether in Western Province, Stormers or Springbok colours. Since retirement he has carved out a successful business career and stays fit on his mountain bike. Corne also keeps a close eye on rugby from the outside and is still passionate about WP and the Springboks. On the Maverick Sports Podcast he talks about the past, present and future of South African rugby and typically, pulls no punches.
Episode 30: Andrew Breetzke - Cricket at a crossroads
Cricket in South Africa is at a major crossroads. There is a leadership vacuum, a pending financial crisis, transformation, race and social justice issues as well as unease from sponsors and most importantly, players. It’s easy to forget the 315 players who make some form of a living in the cricket industry. It’s easier to forget the many lives that cricket supports through salaries paid to coaches, office, managerial and cleaning staff, and the many small businesses such as hospitality, cleaning and security services that the game supports. This week, a concerned Andrew Breetzke, CEO of the South African Cricketers’ Association, otherwise known as Saca helps us unpack the drama that is Cricket South Africa.
Episode 29: Haroon Lorgat: Cricket SA - A corridor of uncertainty
Former ICC and Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat has seen it all in the game. From South Africa’s tentative return to the international arena in the early 1990s, to India’s rise to cricketing super power in the 21st century. He famously stood up to India at ICC meetings, both as CEO of the international organisation and of CSA. It was controversial and led to some spats, but Lorgat always put the interests of the organisation he was representing, and of the game of cricket first. After parting ways with CSA in acrimonious circumstances in 2017, Lorgat has returned to the private sector but has also been involved in the establishment and running of the T20 Pakistan Super League where he has brought his considerable knowledge to that tournament. With Covid-19 wreaking havoc with the playing schedule and CSA in a dire financial situation, Lorgat joins the Maverick Sports Podcast this week and pulls no punches in his assessment of the game, its past and its future.
Episode 28: Jacques Nienaber - Bok to the future
The old saying goes that defence wins World Cups and in 2019 that adage held true as the Springboks conceded a miserly four tries in seven matches at RWC 2019 to claim their third world title. The mastermind behind their steel was renowned defence coach Jacques Nienaber, who has spent more time than is healthy in dark rooms, lit by LED screens, watching men tackle each other. Jacques has been the power behind the throne for all of his coaching career but in 2020, he has stepped into the spotlight as the 15th post-isolation Springbok head coach. Normally he would have overseen his first Test matches by this time of the year, but due to the suspension of competition as a result of coronavirus, he is still waiting to lead the current world champions into Test battle. Until then, like a likeable Bond villain, Nienaber has time to plot and plan another four years of world rugby dominance, as he waits to unleash the Boks again.
Episode 27: Mark Andrews - Remembering RWC ‘95
He played 77 Tests for South Africa, 75 of those at lock. He twice played loose forward, and it was the two he played at No 8 that might be most remembered. Mark Andrews was a Springbok giant in every sense of the word, but in the space of seven days in 1995 he was asked to do a specific job by coach Kitch Christie, playing out of position in the back row in two of the most memorable and crucial games in South African rugby history. June the 24th marked the 25th anniversary of the Springboks winning the 1995 World Cup with a famous 15-12 victory over the All Blacks at Ellis Park. He won many accolades as a player and has gone on to achieve success in the business world. Mark won Currie Cups and a Tri-Nations title and played 94 matches in total for South Africa, but his name will always be synonymous with the class of 1995.