Rassie Erasmus has been lauded for his decision to hire former All Blacks flyhalf Tony Brown as part of his Springbok coaching shake-up.
SA Rugby confirmed this week that Erasmus has returned as Springbok head coach until 2027, with his previous position as director of rugby being mothballed until further notice.
There are two new faces on the coaching staff with Brown (attack coach) and ex-Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery (defence coach) replacing Felix Jones and Jacques Nienaber respectively.
During an episode of World Rugby’s Boks Office, former Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers expressed their excitement with the decision to bring Brown on board, while former England centre Brad Barritt also lauded the appointment.
“What an acquisition,” Barritt said on the Boks Office podcast before the announcement.
“He was an amazing guy to learn from still to this day, probably the best pass I have ever seen – it was just on a sixpence every single time; that’s an amazing coup.”
Brown, who played under Erasmus at the DHL Stormers, is a highly regarded and innovative attack coach, playing a crucial role in stints with the Highlanders and Japan.
“He won a Super Rugby under Jamie Joseph for the Highlanders, so he is going to bring something different,” Burger said. “We know he thinks about the game. Every time Tony Brown coaches a side you know he does something inventive on attack. He will add a different dimension.
“He has got a different physical specimen to coach [compared to Japan], so things that he had to be inventive with to get over the gainline will be a little bit simpler to coach.
“But if he can add the added dimension of the subtle offload or something inventive like he has done with the Japanese, then it can only empower our physicality.”
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