Former Springbok consultant Swys de Bruin says there is plenty of mutual respect between him and Jacques Nienaber, who is believed to be a strong candidate to take over as Bok head coach.
According to Afrikaans publication Rapport, defence coach Nienaber is expected to be named the new Bok coach, with Rassie Erasmus set to prioritise his role as director of rugby.
De Bruin, who led the Lions to the 2018 Super Rugby final and assisted the Boks as an attacking consultant, added that Erasmus would still have a significant influence on the team from behind the scenes.
‘He [Erasmus] doesn’t have the personality to just step back,’ said De Bruin, at a coaching clinic in Stellenbosch last week. ‘He’s just going to take some pressure off himself.
‘I know Jacques well. We’ve had long discussions on the game and our philosophies, which differ. But after our discussions we gained a lot of respect for each other.’
De Bruin added that with regard to continuity in the Springbok set-up, he would welcome Nienaber’s appointment. The Bok defence guru does not sport a head-coaching role on his CV, but reportedly has the support of Erasmus and many senior players in the Springbok leadership group.
Former Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has been rumoured as another potential candidate for the position, after being seen with the Springboks on many occasions over the last 18 months during Erasmus’ tenure.
Davids led the Kings to six wins in their final season of Vodacom Super Rugby, but under his guidance the Port Elizabeth-based side only managed three wins from 42 matches in their first two PRO14 campaigns.
Davids parted ways with the Kings before the current season began and has been tipped to have an edge over Nienaber as a result of having experience as a head coach.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander confirmed last week that the appointment of the new Bok head coach will be made before the end of the year.
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