Swys out to bring some at­tack­ing nous to Spring­boks

Tat­jana just dy­ing for a lamb chop

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - JAC­QUES VAN DER WESTHUYZEN

EX­PECT a fair sprin­kling of Lions play­ers to be part of the Spring­boks’ June Test pro­gramme against Wales and Eng­land.

And, ex­pect plenty of at­tack­ing play, not dis­sim­i­lar to what the Lions have dished up in re­cent sea­sons.

That’s what can be de­duced by the ap­point­ment, on a con­sul­tancy ba­sis, of Lions head coach Swys de Bruin

as one of Bok boss Rassie Eras­mus’ lieu­tenants for the one-off Test against Wales in Wash­ing­ton at the start of June and the fol­low-up three Tests against Eng­land in South Africa.

It is De Bruin’s first in­volve­ment with the Boks af­ter serv­ing rugby for sev­eral years. He was also in­volved with this week’s Bok “align­ment camp” in Van­der­bi­jl­park that in­cluded play­ers from the Lions and Storm­ers, both of whom have Su­per Rugby byes this week.

Eras­mus said the ad­di­tion of De Bruin, who has been the Lions’ suc­cess­ful at­tack coach over the last few years, to the Bok coach­ing struc­ture was part of the process to in­volve coaches from all lo­cal fran­chises with the prepa­ra­tion of the Boks.

“I’ve al­ways said that we must im­prove our com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion with the lo­cal fran­chise coaches,” said Eras­mus. “They spend much more time with the play­ers, so bet­ter co­op­er­a­tion with them can only be a ben­e­fit and should be an ob­vi­ous thing.

“Swys and some of his col­leagues from the Lions joined us at the se­cond align­ment camp, as did mem­bers of the Storm­ers coach­ing team, while a cou­ple of Bulls coaches were there for the first camp.

“They all played an ac­tive part in the var­i­ous tech­ni­cal ses­sions.”

Apart from tap­ping into the knowl­edge of ex­pert con­sul­tants from time to time, Eras­mus added he will ask the lo­cal fran­chise coaches to as­sist the Boks in spe­cific ar­eas. At­tack and back­line play is De Bruin’s area of ex­per­tise, which has con­trib­uted to the Lions scor­ing plenty of tries, over sev­eral sea­sons, in Su­per Rugby.

Mean­while, for­wards ex­pert Matt Proud­foot has been re­tained as the Boks’ scrum and li­ne­out boss af­ter for­mer French in­ter­na­tional Pi­eter de Vil­liers with­drew from his po­si­tion in the Bok set-up, due to press­ing per­sonal com­mit­ments. Proud­foot worked un­der for­mer coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee and is a highly re­garded for­wards coach, who’ll work closely with Eras­mus and de­fence guru Jac­ques Nien­aber.

Eras­mus is also be­lieved to be con­sid­er­ing over­seas based play­ers like prop Vin­cent Koch, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and cen­tre Juan de Jongh for the June Tests, af­ter an ap­par­ent amend­ing – in spe­cial cases – of the 30-Test rule, which pre­vi­ously pre­vented play­ers with fewer than 30 Tests and who play over­seas to be picked for the Boks. It is un­der­stood if Eras­mus is able to give valid rea­sons for want­ing to pick an over­seas-based player he will be al­lowed to do so by his em­ploy­ers.

There’s also been talk that Duane Ver­meulen, JP Pi­etersen, Bis­marck du Plessis and Frans Steyn could be in­volved go­ing for­ward, to add greater depth to the Bok squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Fur­ther “align­ment camps” in­volv­ing the Sharks play­ers, as well as Chee­tahs and Kings men, who’re in the reck­on­ing to play for the Boks, are set to be held later this month.

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