April 19, 2024

Rassie re-purposes Springbok management team

Rassie Erasmus confirmed a re-purposed Springbok coaching and management team on Tuesday, as the newly re-appointed head coach began putting in place the building blocks for a 13-Test season in 2024 at the start of a new Rugby World Cup cycle.

Erasmus introduced coaches Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery to media in Cape Town as the focus turned to the ever-evolving playing landscape.

“Tony and Jerry bring a fresh perspective from different rugby environments and it’s lekker to hear new voices on how we’ve been doing things and how we might do them in the future,” said Erasmus.

“As we said before last year’s tournament, there was no way that we would be successful if we kept doing things in the same way.

“We need to evolve our game once more, as teams will definitely have looked at how we play, and how they think they can stop us.

“We’ve also had a close look at how we need to develop as a team and what the coaching and management groups need to look like to support the players.

“We wanted to bring in Nigel Owens last year as a Laws Adviser, but we’ve been able to do that with Jaco Peyper now that he has retired from active refereeing.

“The way the Laws are interpreted and blown is always evolving and we need expert insight so we can always stay on the right side of the Laws.”

The new appointments had their first formal taste of the Springbok environment at last week’s alignment camp and are looking forward to the new challenge. 

Brown, the former All Black flyhalf and new Springbok attack coach, said: “It’s a privilege to be involved with the Springboks and to contribute to this great set-up. It was exciting to meet the coaches and the players at the alignment camp last week, and to map out the plans for the season, so I’m really looking forward to this journey. 

“There are immensely talented players in the country and my goal is to ensure that we can continue to bring the best out of them on the field.” 

The responsibility for the Springbok defence now belongs to Flannery, a former Ireland hooker, who said: “I’m honoured to be part of the Springbok coaching team. I had the luxury of experiencing the environment for a short time during a training camp last season, and that gave me a taste of what to look forward to for the next few years.

“Our first alignment camp went very well, and it was pleasing to see how well the coaches worked together and how receptive the players were to our way of doing things, and hopefully I can make a solid contribution as we look to build on what the team has achieved in the last few seasons.”

Erasmus has also added a performance analyst in Paddy Sullivan, who worked with the team as a consultant at last year’s Rugby World Cup. Sullivan has been a performance analyst for French Top 14 team, Montpelier, for the last three seasons.

“We’ve reviewed what is takes to be at the cutting edge of the game and we’ve repurposed the management structure to put as much resource as we can into the technical side of the game,” said Erasmus.

“The players will continue to get the necessary off-field support, but we wanted to make sure that we had the right roles filled to make sure that the main thing stays the main thing.”

The management team has been confirmed for the season and will be first in action against Wales at Twickenham on 22 June.

“This is a watershed year for South African rugby with the off-field developments that are being discussed and it’s our job to make sure that everything remains on track on the field,” said Erasmus.

“I’m excited about the coaching and management team we’ve put together and really looking forward to getting out there once again.”

Springbok Management:

Rassie Erasmus: Head Coach

Charles Wessels: Team Manager

Mzwandile Stick: Assistant Coach

Daan Human: Assistant Coach

Deon Davids: Assistant Coach

Tony Brown: Assistant Coach

Jerry Flannery: Assistant Coach

Andy Edwards: Head of Athletic Performance

Sebastian Prim: Sport Scientist

Paddy Sullivan: Performance Analyst

Lindsay Weyer: Technical Analyst

Jaco Peyper: Laws and Discipline Advisor

Dr Jerome Lehlogonolo Mampane: Team Doctor

Dr Aneurin Robyn: Physiotherapist

Rene Naylor: Physiotherapist

JJ Fredericks: Logistics Manager

Zintsika Tashe: Operations Manager

Zeena Isaacs van Tonder: Media Manager

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