South Africa’s four Vodacom Super Rugby teams will get national support from the Springbok coaching team once again in the 2019 season.
SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday that all of Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, as well as Springbok assistant coaches Matt Proudfoot, Mzwandile Stick and Jacques Nienaber, and Springbok Head of Athletic Performance, Aled Walters, would be deployed to the teams at their request.
Erasmus has been invited to support new Vodacom Bulls coach, Pote Human, in the pre-season phase of the team’s preparations while the same facility has once again been offered to all other franchises.
Erasmus said: “We started making the national panel available to the franchises a number of years ago and we want to continue to forge closer links between the national coaches and the Vodacom Super Rugby and Guinness PRO14 teams.
“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. Strong performances at franchise level will translate into strong Springbok performances – it’s a win-win.”
Erasmus said the national 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,” said Erasmus.
“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 gameplan – that can only be determined by the franchise head coach. Bu 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.”
The Vodacom Super Rugby season kicks off on 16 February 2019.