• Nienaber: No egos between Rassie and I

    Jacques Nienaber has highlighted the strong working relationship he shares with South Africa’s director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus.

    Erasmus has stepped back from his head coach position after leading the Boks to the World Cup title last November, but will still have a hands-on role with the national side.

    He will continue to work closely with Nienaber, who is widely expected to be promoted into the top job in the coming weeks.

    ‘Our partnership does not end when we leave the rugby field, sometimes we have a meal and a drink together,’ Nienaber told AFP.

    ‘We sometimes disagree over tactics, but we share the same aim of making teams consistently successful. I first met Rassie when we were army conscripts and our rugby relationship began at university where he was the team captain and I was the physio.

    ‘Rassie is a superb tactician and a great person to work with. It helps a lot that neither he nor I suffer from ego problems.’

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    Meanwhile, Erasmus was full of praise for his right-hand man.

    ‘His passion, knowledge and work ethic around defence were evident from the start. Jacques deals brilliantly with people, getting messages across clearly.

    ‘He is a wonderful person and, if chosen, would be a great replacement. From physiotherapist to Springbok head coach – what a story.’

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