CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus and his assistants are to spread out across the country’s four Super Rugby teams to offer support as they look to harmonise preparations for next year’s World Cup in Japan.
The Springbok coach and his assistants Jacques Nienanber, Matt Proudfoot, Mzwandile Stick and Aled Walters will work with the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers, who have started preparations for the new season starting in February.
Erasmus’s first posting will be to help new Bulls coach Pote Human, who replaces John Mitchell, who left to join the England coaching staff.
“All of the coaches worked with one or other of the franchises in the past year to exchange ideas and expertise and hopefully assist the teams in raising the performance bar,” Erasmus said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Strong performances at franchise level will translate into strong Springbok performances – it’s a win-win.”
Erasmus said the coaches would in no way be dictating style or tactics or trying to impose a national blueprint on teams.
“We will assist in generic areas such as skills and conditioning, mauling, scrumming and lineouts,” Erasmus said. “It will also give the national coaches a chance to discuss individual players with the franchise coaches and work on specific areas for specific individuals.
“But it is not our role to have input on selection or game plan – that can only be determined by the franchise head coach. But we do believe this is approach can work for South African rugby in its broadest sense at the start of a very important Rugby World Cup year.”