Ex-EP U21 takes up national team post after success with the Kings
Newly-appointed Springbok technical analyst Lindsay Weyer, who has fine-tuned his highly specialised skills at the Southern Kings for the past eight years, has compared rugby to a game of chess.
While accolades following a win are normally showered on coaches and players, it is analysts like Weyer who also deserve a huge chunk of the credit.
Thanks to the meticulous work done by Weyer, the Kings enjoyed their best-ever Super Rugby season, winning six of the 15 matches they played.
Sadly for the Kings, Weyer bade farewell to the franchise last Friday after their final Super Rugby game against the Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
He will be moving to Cape Town shortly to start his new full-time job as the analyst for the national team, who play their next game in the Rugby Championship against Argentina in Port Elizabeth on August 19.
Weyer comes from a rugby-mad family in East London, where his father, Wayne, played more than over 150 matches for Border
“My love for rugby started at school and my father always encouraged me. Like me, he also played flyhalf and fullback,” Weyer said.
“I attended Selborne College, a good rugby school, and played for the first team. Later I came to Port Elizabeth, where I played for NMMU and also the EP U19 and U21 sides.
“So I was in the system here in Port Elizabeth and when I needed to do an internship for my sport management course, I asked if I could come to EP Rugby and help wherever I was needed.
“One of the EP coaches, David Maidza, knew my background from the Border, so they said I could come and help and film [matches]. That is where it all started,” he added. “Now eight years later, at the age of 29, I am the head analyst at a Super Rugby Union and also a Springbok analyst, which is quite a journey.
“When I started. the analyst at the Kings was Southey Steenkamp, and I would sit with him and coaches when they did their work and I learned a lot from them.
“There were several coaches over the years, including Alan Solomons, David Maidza, Carlos Spencer, Mzwandile Stick, Brent Janse van Rensburg and Deon Davids.
“I will do a preview of the opponents and will look up to their past three games and pick up trends of what they do on attack and in defence,” Weyer said.
“Things like how many men they have in the lineouts – and you pick up trends. Things like when we attack and how many of the opposition are on defence and folding.
“For me rugby is a game of chess and you want to get the opposition checkmated.
“I present that information to the coaches after many hours of study. “Everyone thinks a normal day is from 8am to 5pm, but I am here from 6.30am and leave at 5.30pm and then I will still work on my laptop at home in bed,” he added.
“The coaches can take whatever they want out of the information, but I will give them the backbone of what the opposition is about.
“When a plan comes together it is an amazing feeling,” Weyer said.
“That is why sometimes in the coaches’s box you will see that we are all ecstatic.
“I get the live SuperSport television feed into the coaches’ box. If something has happened in the game, like when we miss a tackle or there was an opportunity to score a try, I can go back and have a look at it and offer some advice.
“Also, if I see something is on, we have radios and we will message down to the field to say that the play is on.”
Weyer says the difficult part of the job is that it is very time-consuming.
“One frustrating thing is that we have to hit the rewind button a lot because my job is attention to detail. I am basically watching a game in slow motion over and over again to analyse us and the opposition to see where we can improve.
“But I love what I do and I am happy to do it, even if my wife Malane does moan sometimes. But my laptop goes everywhere with me.”
Weyer said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee had phoned him to say that the national team wanted him.
“If I stake a step back, there was a six-month period when there was no pay at the EP Rugby Union. “There were many options for me to go overseas to France or the Sharks. “But I had a wife who had a stable job, so it was not worth my while.
“I hung it out here and look what happened.
“My first test analysing for the Springboks was against France at Loftus in June. It has been an amazing journey from getting no pay to being a Springbok analyst,” he said.
Because of his deep understanding of the game, Weyer says he would like to become a head coach at a professional franchise in the future.
“One ambition is to become a head coach. I would like to be at the top and I have coached at U21 and school level and I would like to become a head coach.
Even referees come under scrutiny when Weyer does his pre-match planning. “That is very important. A referee can ruin a game or win a game. You need to understand what he looks for penalty-wise and even where his position is on the field,” Weyer said.
“If you are going to be at his throat the whole time he is going to be totally negative towards you. So what I do is look at refs and linesmen because they are also important these days.”
Weyer is sad that his time at the Kings has come to an end.
“If we look back to the Bulls game, I had never experienced a win at Loftus with the Kings. That feeling after the game proved that this is an amazing team who have enjoyed an amazing year.
“Afterwards I sat with team doctor Konrad von Hagen, who is also the Springbok doctor. It was very emotional,” Weyer said.