Springboks bolster coaching ranks

Date published: October 20 2016

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SARU have recruited Cheetahs coach Franco Smith and Lions defence specialist JP Ferreira to the Springboks coaching staff for the end-of-year tour.

The duo was added at the request of Bok coach Allister Coetzee, SARU confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

SA Rugby kicking specialist, Louis Koen, will also join the four-match tour, which features Tests against England, Italy and Wales and opens with a match against the Barbarians at Wembley on November 5.

The appointments were confirmed during the SA Rugby Coaches’ Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday. The trio will assemble with the Springbok squad and management in Johannesburg next week.
 
Smith will be involved in backline play and skills while Ferreira takes responsibility for defence. Ferreira succeeds Chean Roux, who had filled the role on a temporary basis for the Rugby Championship following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Munster.
 
Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO, said: “There have been a number of meetings with the Springbok coach following the Rugby Championship. His request was that he needed more expertise in certain areas.
 
“We have added to the management’s strength for this tour and the situation will be reassessed by the Springbok Coach at the conclusion of the season.
 
“I’d like to thank the Cheetahs and Lions for their whole-hearted support of our request – which shows the spirit of collaboration that has been highlighted by the indaba,” said Roux.
 
Coetzee said: “Both Franco and JP are experienced coaches at Super Rugby and Currie Cup level. They are both hardworking and well respected individuals. They will fit in well with the current management and I am convinced that they will add value.”

Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli said: “We support SA Rugby’s decision to appoint JP (Ferreira) for the end of year tour, as we believe that he can add value. He has been a stalwart for the union for the last nine years through some tough times."
 
Ferreira was overwhelmed with the opportunity that came his way. “I am nervous and excited at the same time. It is like a dream come true to work with the Springboks, even if it is only for four weeks.
 
“As a young boy my dream was to become a Springbok. It did not happen as a player, but I kept my dream alive by deciding to become a coach. Over the past nine years at the Lions I have had the opportunity to work with dedicated and passionate coaches like Eugene Eloff, Jake White, Dick Muir, John Mitchell and Johan Ackermann, all of whom taught me the knowledge, skills and values I apply to my own coaching philosophy.
 
“Thanks to Johan who had the confidence to appoint me as a defense coach. My dream is being achieved as a coach and I can only thank God for His blessing. I would also like to thank the Lions for affording me the opportunity. I am both humbled and grateful,” Ferreira said.
 
The Springbok squad for the tour will be announced following the Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

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