‘We look at ourselves harshly’ – Proudfoot

Date published: September 27 2016

Springbok assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot says that they do not pay attention to external criticism as they are their own harshest critics.

After a series of unsavoury results for the Springboks, a lot of criticism has been aimed at the Springbok coaching staff, labeling Allister Coetzee's coaching team inexperienced.

But Proudfoot says they have developed a healthy environment where the coaches can support and criticise each other and therefore help one another.

"We as a coaching staff look at ourselves harshly, when we have a coaching meeting, we close the door and honesty prevails. If Johann (van Graan) feels I’ve overstepped or done something wrong, then he can share that. Ultimately, I can only speak on my behalf, and how I would respond if that’s where criticism comes from," Proudfoot told SARugby Magazine.

"At the end of the day, people are passionate about rugby in this country, and it’s good that we feel that responsibility. And if we didn’t, what would that say about how much we care about the Bok brand? How we manage it and handle ourselves are up to us. We set the benchmark in terms of how the team responds, and how we improve."

Proudfoot went on to say that the team really appreciated the environment they are in and are preparing for a tough clash with Australia this weekend.

"We had a few days off, and it provided an appreciation for how special this environment is. At the beginning of this week when we got together again, Allister laid out the goals for this week, and in the first couple of days of training we’ve seen how the team has responded," he said.

"The players are pushing themselves to a new level of excellence and contribution. Everyone here is really motivated for another big challenge against the Aussies. We’re back home and going to be at a venue where we can perform a lot more comfortably. We have to take responsibility for a good performance this Saturday."