Swys out to bring some attacking nous to Springboks
Tatjana just dying for a lamb chop
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.