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Steph Nel outlines Rotherham Titans re-structured management team

08 December 2003

Steph Nel faced the press today as he outlined the details of the re-structured management team. The changes mean new roles for Mike Schmid,Mike Umaga and Geoff Wappett.

The former Connacht and Ireland �A' coach said:"What I have done is re-structured the management team. Nobody has lost their job. I have assessed players and management and put them into clearly defined roles.

I will take over as director of rugby, Geoff Wappett is my team manager and assistant coach, I've currently got Alan Zontagh as a consultant, Mike Umaga is a player-coach and Mike Schmid is running the academy. This means the under 21s, the development team and making sure our scouting network is up-to-date. Jim Kilfoyle is the rugby administrator, he makes sure that the rugby office runs."

Nel seemed very at ease with the press in the conference room at the club's Clifton Lane training ground as he gave his assessment of Rotherham's recent history:

"When Rotherham came up, they struggled to adapt to the pace of Premiership rugby. The Premiership has improved rapidly and I would say it is the best club rugby competition in the world

It's a massive challenge, it's probably the biggest challenge of my life and if it wasn't, I wouldn't have accepted the job."

The South African certainly has his work cut out as he attempts to mastermind Zurich Premiership survival but remains confident that this is still achievable: "We're going to go for the lotto ticket and try and survive the Premiership and that doesn't happen, we go down, win it, and come back again with a good plan."

When asked about new recruits, Ryno van der Merwe, Giscard Pieters, Reinier Volschenk and Corniel van Zyl, Steph said:

"They are immediate short-term but if they're good enough we'd be foolish not to offer them something for next season. We want to create an environment for any player who's good enough to play Premiership to come to this club and if he really is good enough, we'd like to keep him for the longer term."