Stand-in captain Schalk Brits believes that Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is the most meticulous coach that he has played under.
Having been named as the 63rd Springbok captain, the 38-year-old will lead the Boks out in their farewell Test match against Argentina, before they head off to the World Cup in Japan next month.
Brits admitted that he was made aware of his appointment as captain in the lead-up to the drawn Test against the All Blacks, before commenting on Erasmus’ comprehensive planning methods.
‘It was in New Zealand when they announced the plan. Rassie is very thorough in his planning and he’s been preparing us, not just from a couple of weeks ago, but he’s had his plans from the England series in June last year.’
Having played for Western Province and the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup, as well as the Cats and Stormers in Vodacom Super Rugby, Brits spent nine years at Saracens and was voted one of the best foreign imports to ever play in the English Premiership.
In a career that has spanned the best part of 17 years – during which he even returned from retirement – Brits has been under the tutelage of several coaches, but commended Erasmus for his in-depth approach to the game.
‘I don’t think I’ve had a coach like Rassie – and the management team – that is so thorough with their planning and analysis of the opposition and individual players.’
Speaking to the media earlier this week, forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot attributed the Boks’ recent success to Erasmus’ honesty in dealing with the players. Brits reiterated Proudfoot’s statements by saying that players gain a sense of certainty when they feel included as part of a bigger plan.
‘The principles and the planning have been done. We’ve got a specific game plan that we’ve been working on and so far we’re reaping the rewards of the preparation and hard work that’s been put into this team.
‘Rassie’s got a very specific plan for how he’d like us to play. As you’ve seen over these last few matches, we’ve been trying to play a certain way by executing certain aspects of the game well.’
Brits hopes the team will display intensity during the game against Argentina, which he expects to be a tough, physical encounter.
‘Argentina is going to come at us. They are hurting and are a proud nation. They’re a tough group of players. Because we are a new team and haven’t played together before, I’m expecting that we won’t be as fluid initially but as the game progresses, we’ll get more momentum, and hopefully we’ll click.’
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