Smith hails SA franchises

Date published: March 6 2017

South Africa assistant coach Franco Smith praised the country’s five franchises for their cooperation as he oversees a Bok training camp.

The extended training squad went through their paces during their field session at the Wanderers Rugby Club in Johannesburg on Monday.

The 41-man squad got together on Sunday for the first of three training camps before the start of their international campaign, which starts in June when the Springboks host France three times during the Incoming Tour.

On Sunday the 41 squad members gathered after a good weekend for South African Super Rugby teams, with coach Smith pleased to be involved.

“It’s an unbelievable honour to be involved with the Springboks in this capacity, but I know that honour comes with a huge responsibility,” he said.

Regarding his dual role with the Boks and his franchise team, Smith said: “Personally, it will be an interesting challenge but it is not something that is unique because it has be done before (at Bok level) while some of the other international teams are doing the same currently.

“The fact that I will be in the frontline, coaching throughout the year, will be of benefit to me though and will no doubt help me to grow as a coach.”

According to Smith, the benefits of the recent coaching indabas are already noticeable.

“The cooperation (between franchise and Springbok coaches) that we saw during those meetings is something that we can be proud of. As a franchise coach myself, we all know the national team comes first and we want to contribute towards the success of the Springboks,” he explained.