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Rudolf August Wilkens Straeuli (born 20 August 1963 in Pretoria, South Africa) is a former South African rugby union player and coach and currently the CEO of the Golden Lions union. He played in the positions of flanker and Number 8, making ten test appearances for South Africa in 1994 and 1995. He was the coach of the Springboks rugby team in 2002 and 2003. He also played for the Golden Lions provincial team in the Currie Cup and Super 12 competitions.

Rudolf Straeuli
Date of birth (1963-08-20) August 20, 1963 (age 56)
Place of birthPretoria, South Africa
Height1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight110 kg (243 lb; 17 st 5 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Loose Forward
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1998–1999 Bedford Blues 6 (0)
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Golden Lions ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1994–1995 South Africa 10 (20)
Teams coached
Years Team
2002–2003 South Africa


Straeuli made his debut for South Africa on 9 July 1994 against the All Blacks, in which he also scored a try. In all he played 10 tests, including representing South Africa in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, before his career ended on 18 November 1995 against England at Twickenham Stadium.

In 2002, Straeuli took over as the head coach of the Springboks. He won his first four games, with two victories over Wales, a 20-point victory over Argentina and a convincing 60–18 defeat of Samoa. However, the team subsequently suffered several defeats against the bigger nations, losing 30–10 to France, 21–6 to Scotland, 53–3 to England and 52–16 to New Zealand during his reign.

He coached the Springboks during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, a campaign that saw South Africa failing to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time. Straeuli was forced to resign shortly after the tournament when details of his infamous Kamp Staaldraad training camp came to light.[1]

Overall Straeuli coached 23 tests and won only 52% of them, one of the worst records for a South African coach. He also won only two out of the 17 games played against the top six teams in the world.[citation needed]


In 2006 he was inducted into the University of Pretoria Sport Hall of fame.[citation needed]

External linksEdit

  • "SA Rugby Player Profile – Rudolf Straeuli". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  • "SA Rugby Player Profile – Rudolf Straeuli (duplicate)". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 14 April 2016.


  1. ^ "Straeuli given one week to explain away Camp Barbed-Wire". Guardian. 28 November 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Harry Viljoen
South Africa National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
 Jake White