"Controversial figure" - Glamorous South Africa physio accused of 'dark arts' on the pitch - Ruck

“Controversial figure” – Glamorous South Africa physio accused of ‘dark arts’ on the pitch

Physiotherapist Rene Naylor has been instrumental in the reigning champions’ success, which has sometimes included their notorious engagement in ‘dark arts’.

This dedicated sports masseuse, who has been part of the Boy team since 2008, is often right in the midst of the action, frequently captured on camera passionately motivating her team, all the while clutching water bottles and a first aid kit.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland issued a caution to England coach Steve Borthwick, urging him to address South Africa’s strategies, with a particular focus on closely monitoring the team’s physio.

During the 2021 Lions tour she garnered attention for fervently directing her players from just a few meters away, positioned near their try line.

Gatland wrote: “If I was Steve this week, I would be asking how that is going to be properly managed,

“To have any chance against the Springboks you must attempt not just to match them physically but also to be tactically smart and show no signs of mental weakness.

“For example, if I was Steve I would be asking some questions about the number of head injury assessments that South Africa called for in their victory against France.

“I am not questioning whether they were legitimate or not but there have been people out there speculating about it and I would certainly be putting it out there and highlighting that it looked unusual and raising questions about the protocol.”

A Springboks spokesman responded: “The laws of rugby do not forbid any of a team’s four technical personnel from communicating with players during play.”


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Below, you will find a list of the players’ partners, along with additional information about each of them:

#1. Beth Dolling (Marcus Smith)

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