Rassie Erasmus is set to be announced as the new Springbok coach in a couple of days time. Former Southern Kings assistant coach, Mzwandile Stick, is tipped to be a part of the coaching team. The Springbok head coach post is vacant following Allister Coetzee’s sacking earlier this month.
Erasmus, who has won the Currie Cup with the Cheetahs first as a player and then as a coach, has been working behind the scenes since his appointment as SA Rugby’s director of rugby in November. He wants the Springbok coaching team to be based near SA Rugby’s Cape Town head quarters. However, one of the assistant coaches during Coetzee’s tenure, Franco Smith, spurned this move and opted to return to the Cheetahs.
Stick is already in Cape Town but says this has nothing to do with the Springbok post. He is assisting at the SA Rugby Academy and also to prepare the national under 20’s for the IRB Junior World Cup to be held in France in May. He is the current back line coach for the under 20’s. But rugby analyst, Makhaya Jack, says Stick was never given a fair chance by former coach Allistair Coetzee and Saru during his brief spell as Springbok backline coach. He expects him to excel under Erasmus, if appointed.
“Therefore Rassie, who has been in the system for a long time, and he acknowledges that maybe..maybe he has picked up that Toetie had missed a golden opportunity to take Stick along…nurture him. So maybe, for Rassie, he has picked up that this is a platinum opportunity for him, so that when the rugby world, especially in South Africa, make a noise about an African coach nobody should look north, west east and south. They must look closer that Stick has been here, he has been around and has been mentored by one of the South African coaches, Rassie Erasmus.”
A top Saru official confirmed to the SABC that new head coach will be allowed to bring his own staff. Another one earmarked for a return to the Springbok set up is defence coach Jacques Nienaber.
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