Rudi takes up Welsh rugby offer
The project will see the WRU and RC provide players for a new national rugby academy to be based at Colwyn Bay in the north of Wales. The 30-player squad will play a range of development games against other English Guinness Premiership and Welsh Magners League development teams.
The squad comes together initially early in January and will play about 12 games through until late May 2010.
An excited Meir, who is a Southern Cross University (SCU) sport science and sport management lecturer, said he couldn’t wait to be involved in the ground-breaking, new international rugby project.
He said it was a great opportunity and would allow him to continue to learn as a coach and continue his research in the sport.
“My role at SCU will allow me to bring my experience not just as a coach but also researcher and sport manager,” he said.
“I’ll have a range of roles, but my primary responsibility will be the strength and conditioning and skills side of things.
“The WRU have also asked me to do a review of their plans for developing rugby in the north of Wales, and also to review the medical support for the national squad.”
WRU Head of Rugby Development and Performance, Joe Lydon, said he was looking forward to bringing Meir to Wales to share his expertise.
Lydon said Meir was highly experienced in his field and he was sure his knowledge and expertise would rub off on upcoming North Wales coaches and players.
“He will have a range of roles that will capitalise on his considerable expertise and knowledge of professional rugby,” said Lydon.
“We are genuinely pleased that Southern Cross University were able to facilitate his involvement with us and his five months with us should really set the groundwork for this project into the future.
“We’ve invited Rudi to be involved in this important project because we are confident he can help deliver on our aspirations.”
Meir has spent more than 20 years working with professional rugby league and rugby union clubs in a number of countries, including English international rugby union teams. He spent eight years as the strength and conditioning coach with the original Gold Giants and Gold Coast Seagulls in the National Rugby League (NRL).
He has recently completed a PhD in sport marketing where he examined the tribal behaviour of professional rugby league and rugby union fans in England and Australia and will return to his position at SCU upon his return in mid-June 2010.