Next year presents the Springboks with one last full season before jetting off to France to defend their world crown – who would you recruit to reinforce the management team in 2022?
Jake White recruited Eddie Jones to shake things up before the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber assisted Peter de Villiers at the 2011 showpiece and Swys de Bruin was an attack consultant to the Boks prior to the 2019 tournament.
Change is as good as a holiday and a fresh set of eyes can sometimes inspire the players and coaches alike. Though 2021 was a great season in the context of the unique obstacles and the quality of South Africa’s opponents, an 8-5 record confirms there is some room for improvement.
Throughout the season, the world champions were criticised for applying their winning recipe with aplomb – a kick-oriented, forwards-based approach – while many pundits questioned the effectiveness of the attack.
With no set criteria for eligibility, SARugbymag.co.za has compiled a 12-man shortlist of feasible candidates who could add experience and expertise to the current coaching group of head coach Jacques Nienaber and assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick (backline), Deon Davids (forwards), Daan Human (scrum) and Felix Jones (Europe-based consultant).
Could the Boks use the attacking nous of Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, the World Cup-winning experience of Jake White or turnover-attack insights from Blitzboks coach Neil Powell? Perhaps you’d like to recall De Bruin or add one of Nick Mallett, John Dobson, Allister Coetzee, Johann van Graan or Johan Ackermann.
And a long list of international coaches includes John Mitchell, Michael Cheika and Stephen Larkham.