South Africa: Jackie Kriel

Gallagher High Performance Academy is next step in former Springboks Women star’s rugby career

Jackie Kriel started her sporting life as a physiotherapist, but it’s as a full-time rugby coach that she now aims to make her mark.

Kriel was working as a physiotherapist for a women’s rugby team when the coach suggested that she might like to start playing the sport.

It was a suggestion that led to Kriel representing her country on the international Sevens circuit and sparked her interest in moving into coaching herself when she stopped playing.

Kriel is now backs coach of both the Potchefstroom Dorp club and Leopards provincial outfit women’s teams, as well as head coach of South Africa Students and Potchefstroom-based North-West University women’ sevens team. She has also returned to her original profession as a physiotherapist, with the North West Dragons provincial cricket team, but would like to be able to devote herself full-time to rugby coaching with the help of the Gallagher High Performance Academy.

“I think the programme will equip female coaches with the necessary skills and confidence to coach at professional level,” Kriel told World Rugby.

“This will also assist me to promote the importance of a professional coach for women’s rugby at the university, province and union.

“Working full-time as a physiotherapist and coaching after hours makes it difficult to reach my full potential as a coach.

“With coaching at the moment, I only get to the field session and gym training. Then it feels I am missing out on the planning, selection criteria, player development and meetings with the team.”

On a personal level, Kriel hopes that exchanging ideas with other high performance coaches from across the rugby world will benefit the players that she works with.

“I would like to improve my soft skills to get the best out of my players and team,” she said.

“I hope to be a better coach in different aspects of the game – technical, tactical, planning and driving high performance behaviours.”

Last updated: Feb 22, 2024, 2:19:55 PM