NZ Rugby World
The final chapter of your book is about enjoying the journey and having a strong support structure. Who has helped you along the way?
Obviously, it’s my family. They took all the highs and lows with me. But I'm big on teamwork, that’s what the 2019 Boks showed too. You can't do it alone. I always say the Lone Ranger wasn't alone, Tarzan had Jane and the apes, Edmund Hillary was the first guy to climb Everest but he wasn't alone, Tenzing Norgay was with him and others had tried before and left a trail which made it easier.
There's no such thing as a guy who can do it all alone in his life, you have to have great people around you and I believe you have to enjoy what you do. If you don't enjoy it, you'll never be successful, and that's why I enjoyed coaching.
I enjoyed working with the youngsters, and the great thing about being a coach is when you work with the youngsters, they’re all positive.
Once or twice I’ve been out of rugby and I couldn't believe how you work with people who just want to get through the day and go home. I've never experienced that in coaching. It was a joy to work with people who are so excited and so motivated, putting their bodies on the line, starting work at 6am in the gym, doing extra sessions, recovery on Sundays and doing video work because they want to be the best in the world, that's incredible to be part of.
To mention names would be unethical because so many people helped me through my career, especially with the Boks, and so many players enriched my life for which I will be thankful for the rest of my life.
In terms of memories, you don't remember the trophies, they are just a piece of tin – and my teams did win a few, I think four or five Currie Cups and a Super Rugby title or two, and a few other things – but you don't remember that.
What you remember the most is the journey and the memories. Once you’ve won, you sometimes just look out for the next one and the pressure comes back. So, one of the things I maybe did wrong as a coach, and what I’ve learned since, is that you have to enjoy it. Bismarck du Plessis came to me a lot of times and said, ‘Coach you have to enjoy it more.’
That’s obviously difficult when you’re under pressure and the hopes of your country are on your shoulders, but if I can give one piece of advice to young coaches and to anyone out there, you have to enjoy what you do.
Life is so short and if you don't enjoy it you have to get out, get a new job and start something new.