Jacques Nienaber has thrown his support behind successor Jerry Flannery to be a natural fit as the Springboks’ new defence coach.
SA Rugby last week confirmed that Flannery and Tony Brown have been appointed as the Springboks’ new defence and attack coaches respectively, taking over from Nienaber and Felix Jones.
When Nienaber announced that he would be leaving the Springboks after the World Cup last year, former Ireland hooker Flannery was identified by Rassie Erasmus as the man to run South Africa’s defence.
The trio worked together when Erasmus and Nienaber were coaching Munster in 2017 and Flannery, currently serving as Harlequins’ defence coach, spent time with the Springboks during their pre-World Cup camp in 2023.
“I coached with him when we were at Munster,” Nienaber was quoted by the Irish Independent.
“He would be very familiar with the way that Rassie would do stuff, because it will be very similar to how we did things when we were at Munster.
“Jerry actually spent some time with us in the World Cup preparation. He was there a week or two with the Boks. He understands how the environment operates and the players would know him.
“They met him for the week or two that he has been there. He won’t be unfamiliar to them.
“He actually helped us a little bit with the hookers. He added value with the lineout throws, him being an international hooker himself.
“Just adding things that he saw and I’m not saying it took over from there and all that, but it just added value. It’s a good opportunity for Jerry and I think he will be good for the Boks.
“I think both of those appointments, him and (attack coach) Tony Brown, are excellent appointments. They will add value to the team.
“When we did our club visits of the abroad players, Harlequins was one of the clubs that we visited. They were always open to us being there, so watching their training sessions, gym sessions, being in their team meetings.”
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