Boks bolster coaching staff

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith and Lions defence specialist JP Ferreira have been added to the Springbok management team for the end-of-year tour.

SA Rugby confirmed on Thursday that the additions to the Boks' coaching group had been made at the request of Allister Coetzee. Smith will be involved in backline and skills play, while Ferreira takes responsibility for defence.

Ferreira succeeds Chean Roux, who had filled the role on a temporary basis for the Rugby Championship following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Munster earlier this year.

SA Rugby kicking specialist Louis Koen will also join the four-match tour, which features Tests against England, Italy and Wales, and opens with a match against the Barbarians at Wembley on 5 November.

The appointments were ratified during the SA Rugby coaches indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday.

'There have been a number of meetings with the Springbok coach following the Rugby Championship,' SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux commented. 'His request was that he needed more expertise in certain areas.

'We have added to the management’s strength for this tour, and the situation will be reassessed by the Springbok coach at the conclusion of the season. I’d like to thank the Cheetahs and Lions for their wholehearted support of our request – which shows the spirit of collaboration that has been highlighted by the indaba.'

Coetzee welcomed the appointments: 'Both Franco and JP are experienced coaches at Super Rugby and Currie Cup level. They are both hardworking and well-respected individuals. They will fit in well with the current management and I am convinced that they will add value.'

The Springbok squad for the tour will be announced following the Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix

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