Episode 32: Ed Coetzee - The business of rugby

One of rugby’s great myths is that the forwards are always the unthinking, heavy lifters, while the backs have all the brains. It probably comes from a small sample of players back in the sport’s sepia-toned past, but times have changed. Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee was a prop – and a very good one at that – he played Super Rugby for the Sharks, for South Africa ‘A’ and spent eight years playing in France for Biarritz. He is anything but unthinking or brainless, and as rugby enters a new post-Covid-19 world, the challenges that the game faced before the pandemic ravaged the planet, have been exacerbated by six months of lockdown. Previous business models have to be torn up and re-engineered. For the next few years at least, professional rugby in South Africa and globally too, will be in a precarious position. It will take bold, innovative young leaders such as Coetzee to navigate a way through these turbulent times.