Covid-19 claims Springbok rugby powerhouse Arthob Petersen

By Jarryd Neves

Renowned Springbok manager Arthob Petersen has died from “the effects” of Covid-19, says SA Rugby.

Born in Paarl, Petersen served as chairperson of the Paarl Rugby Union for 10 years. In 1986, he became the vice chairperson of the Boland Rugby Union, ‘until the unification of the sport in 1992 when Mr Petersen was elected as a member of the executive committee of the South African Rugby Football Union, the forerunner to today’s SA Rugby’, says the rugby union.

With a career in rugby spanning over four decades, Petersen worked closely with a number of Springbok coaches – ‘most notably as Springbok manager under Carel du Plessis and Nick Mallett (1997 to 1999), with Jake White (2004 to 2006) and again in 2008 and 2009 with Peter de Villiers’, says SA Rugby.

Petersen remained involved at a provincial level, managing the Under-19s and Boland senior side in the 1990s. On their 1994 tour of the UK and Ireland, he assumed his ‘first national role as the assistant manager to the Springbok team’, says SA Rugby.

Two years later, he managed the South African ‘A’ team and ended up managing the national team in 1997, ‘serving through to the Rugby World Cup finals in 1999 when he was part of the bronze medal-winning management team’.

SA rugby president Mark Alexander spoke of Petersen highly, saying ‘his example was one that we would all do well to follow’.

‘His contribution to rugby was immense and he leaves a legacy of selfless service to the game that grew up in the amateur years and continued into the professional era with the same selfless service and dignity’, said Alexander.

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