Springbok assistant coach Jacques Nienaber shared some valuable insights with the SA Rugby Academy players in Stellenbosch on Thursday after attending their mid-morning training session.
Nienaber and other members of the Springbok coaching team have been regular visitors at the SA Rugby Academy since the programme kicked off early in February, and have supported Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux and his assistants at selected training sessions weekly.
The SA Rugby Academy resumed on Wednesday after the players enjoyed a well-deserved week off following the conclusion of their first training camp last week.
“The coaches are working with a big group of players, and they are certainly a talented bunch,” said Nienaber.
“The effort and work rate they put in at Thursday’s defence session was awesome to see, and so was their attitude. So it is really nice group to work with.”
Nienaber added: “It is great to have a few different voices at training with Chean and Bafana (Nhleko, Junior Springbok assistant coach) in charge of this squad’s defence.
“It is particularly pleasing for me to see the continuity at Under-20 level. Some of these players are going to feed into our system pretty soon, so it is nice to be exposed to the different ideas at this level. They have a few good ideas, and they can try out few things at this level, which is fantastic.”
Of the Springbok coaching staff offering their support at selected training sessions, Nienaber said: “It is fantastic to have the opportunity to work with the players, especially in the sense that we can guide them in terms of what skills are vital at Springbok level.
“This will allow the players to work on those areas of their game, which will benefit them as they progress through the structures to senior level.”