Delport back at Sixways
July 19, 2011
delport was a crowd favourite at Sixways and will hope to see the Premiership new boys reclaim their top flight status © Getty Images
Former South Africa international Thinus Delport has rejoined the Worcester Warriors in a backroom role focussed on bringing the world's best players to Sixways.
Delport's appointment is a key part of Richard Hill's plan to make Worcester a formidable outfit in the Premiership for years to come. Delport made 110 appearances for Worcester between 2004 and 2008 and has since plied his trade in Japan for the Kobelco Steelers before turning his hand to the media side of the game. The widely respected figure's new role is officially titled 'recruitment consultant' and Hill sees Delport's appointment as key in their push to retain their top flight status.
"It's about getting the right group of players together and recruitment is a very serious priority now we are back in the top-flight," said Hill. "We have a highly motivated squad and very talented players who are developing well. The likes of Miles Benjamin, Marcel Garvey, Jonny Arr and Oliver Tomaszczyk are outstanding players who have had good seasons and have bright futures.
"It is crucial that on top of that you can pick out two or three high quality players that will keep moving the squad forward to achieve our ultimate ambitions."
Worcester have recruited partly from the Championship over the summer signing former London Welsh winger Errie Claassens to compliment the likes of former England scrum-half Shaun Perry, who arrives from Brive. Delport will be used in an ambassadorial role for the Sixways side with Hill asking the 18-cap Springbok international to meet with potential signings to deem whether they are of significant calibre to bolster Worcester's side.
"One of the key factors to recruiting a player is doing thorough research," Hill said. "That way you not only know the person is high quality, but also that they have the right qualities to come into this environment, especially if they are from overseas, and fit in and perform at the highest level.
"We needed somebody who was highly respected, is extremely knowledgeable about players and is a fitting ambassador for the club. Thinus is that person and he will be there to watch those players that are identified, to talk to the right people about them and ultimately meet the player to ensure it is the kind of person we want at the Warriors."
Delport will be a keen spectator when rugby's showpiece tournament starts in September and he will use the World Cup to run his eye over any potential signings that may take his fancy. "It's great to be part of the ambition of Worcester Warriors," Delport said "I want to help reach the vision that the club has set out, both that of Cecil Duckworth and Richard Hill and Phil Davies, in terms of the rugby goals.
"It's a massive year of rugby, with the World Cup in New Zealand bringing a lot to a rugby calendar, and this new recruitment process will help us identify potential players that will only add to the club."
Charlie Little, managing director at Warriors, heralded the appointment of Delport saying: "We will be identifying the core values of what makes a Warriors player and ensuring that anyone that comes in meets those criteria.
"Thinus has a vast knowledge of rugby from his playing career and media work, from National One through to the RFU Championship, Aviva Premiership Rugby and Southern Hemisphere rugby. Most importantly he is a Warrior, he knows what it means to pull on the shirt here at Sixways."
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