Posted on Thursday, 07 Sep 2023
Laurian Johannes-Haupt, who had been acting as interim assistant coach for the Springbok Women's team this year, has been formally recruited by SA Rugby to join the team as assistant coach, leading up to the WXV tournament in October.
Johannes-Haupt, a former national player, was named interim forwards coach in March and travelled with the national squad to Spain and Madagascar in that capacity.
However, with the WXV heading to South Africa in October, the coaching staff of interim head coach Louis Koen has been strengthened with the appointments of Johannes-Haupt and Franzel September as assistant coaches, with the former Boland Kavaliers coach joining the squad last month.
Johannes-Haupt, who doubles as Junior Springbok Women's head coach, travelled with the national squad to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand last year as part of World Rugby's intern coaching programme and according to the former Springbok Women prop, that experience enhanced her passion for coaching.
“That was a wonderful programme and I learned a lot from the diverse views on offer," said Johannes-Haupt.
“Rugby is a continuous path of learning, with new trends, techniques and developments in the game and I am happy to be a student of it.
“Our focus is on the team and how to get the best out of the players for the WXV tournament in the next month of preparation.
“I feel really blessed and honoured to be in this position, especially in this team, who I played for until 2014. I was always going to go into coaching after that, but never with a particular team in the future scope.
“The joy I got from coaching women at junior level, first with the Western Province U16s and U18s, fuelled the passion and I finally got involved with the senior WP side, where we won a couple of finals, but also lost the last three.
“It is also important for women to make the step-up into the senior coaching ranks, and this will be a compliment for women's sports in general, so I am really pleased in that regard.
“That aside, this camp here in Potchefstroom demands hard work and after signing the contract I could not wait to come here and get my hands dirty on the field again,” the 39-year-old said.
“The focus will be on making our pack of the best in the world. Springbok rugby's DNA consists of dominant forwards and the Springbok Women will strive to be the same in that regard. We have done well in our goals so far, but the work is far from done.”
SA Rugby's High-Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby, Lynne Cantwell, said the signing of Johannes-Haupt is another forward step in the pathway programme for women's rugby.
“It is wonderful to have a former national player going into coaching and ending up being part of the coaching staff of the very team that she played for,” said Cantwell.
“Laurian's appointment is also a feather in the cap for World Rugby's intern coaches programme and we are already reaping the benefits from that. The fact that she also coached our Junior Springbok Women showed the pathway is there to progress through the ranks.”
Cantwell also confirmed that SA Rugby again nominated someone for the next intern coaching programme, with World Rugby announcing those coaches soon.