Former Springbok forwards guru Matt Proudfoot says being able to work alongside the “demanding” Eddie Jones in England has allowed him to grow, as he prepares for his first stint as Maties head coach.
Proudfoot was on Monday confirmed to be returning to South Africa at the helm of Maties in the upcoming Varsity Cup.
This comes after he parted ways with the England RFU following three years as the now-sacked Jones’ assistant.
“It was an incredible challenge for me as a coach – to grow, to develop and to work with different players,” Proudfoot told Sunday newspaper Rapport.
“Eddie is a dynamic, demanding head coach. It was a learning school for me to adapt to a new philosophy of the game. Eddie believes in continuous growth, continuous adaptation – that you never stand still.
“I learned a lot about coaching and the game. I am a completely different coach than I was three, four years ago.”
Proudfoot says the biggest challenge in transitioning from assistant to head coach, particularly at Maties, will be allowing the students the freedom to grow.
“Moving from assistant coach to head coach is a challenge and I don’t want to change too much of their culture.
“I don’t want to over-coach. They are students, while for the last seven years I have worked with the best players in the world. I have to be aware of that, respect where they are in their careers and give them the best of myself.”
Photo: Getty Images