Rudolph Straeuli

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Rudolph Straeuli
Date of birth (1963-08-20) August 20, 1963 (age 51)
Place of birth Pretoria, South Africa
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 110 kg (240 lb; 17 st)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Loose Forward
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1998–99 Bedford Blues 6 (0)
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1994–95  South Africa 10 (20)
Coaching career
Years Club / team
2002–03  South Africa
Rugby union career

Rudolph August Wilkens Straeuli (born 20 August 1963 in Pretoria, South Africa) was a South African rugby union player and coach. He played in the positions of flanker and Number 8. He later was the coach of the Springboks rugby team. He also played for the Lions provincial team in the Currie Cup competition.

Straeuli made his debut for South Africa on 9 July 1994 against the All Blacks, in which he also scored a try. In all he played 10 tests, including representing South Africa in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, before his career ended on 18 November 1995 against England at Twickenham Stadium.

It is not his skills as a rugby player, but his coaching skills that he is infamous for. After Harry Viljoen could not deliver the goods, winning only 53% of his games, Straeuli was seen as a breath of fresh air. Many lauded him as the saviour of South African rugby, the man who would get the job done.

At first things seemed to be going well for Straeuli as he won his first four games, with two victories over Wales, a 20 point mauling of Argentina and a convincing 60–18 defeat of Samoa. But when it came to facing the world's top teams, disaster struck.

Under Straeuli the Springboks reached their lowest point in world rugby with record defeats against several countries, most notably:

Through all the failures Straeuli kept telling the public that he was still building his team and that they should judge him on his performance in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. For the first time South Africa failed to reach the semifinals of a World Cup in which they participated. Straeuli was forced to resign shortly after the campaign when details of his infamous Kamp Staaldraad training camp came to light.

Overall Straeuli coached 23 tests and won only 52% of them, doing worse than his predecessor and making him the worst South African coach for the number of games played in history. He also won only two out of the 17 games played against the top six teams in the world.


In 2006 he was inducted into the University of Pretoria Sport Hall of fame.[1]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Hall of fame Retrieved June 25, 2011
Sporting positions
Preceded by
South Africa Harry Viljoen
South Africa National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
South AfricaJake White