Van Graan lauds new coaching colleagues

Date published: October 28 2016

New coaching consultants Franco Smith and JP Ferreira have made an immediate impact with the Springboks ahead of their November tour.

Cheetahs coach Smith and Lions defence specialist Ferreira was added to the coaching staff for the end-of-year tour at the conclusion of the the South African Rugby Union’s coaching indaba last week.

Smith has been tasked with helping backline coach Mzwandile Stick give the Boks more bite on the attack. Ferreira has taken charge of the defence, replacing Chean Roux who was only expected to fill the role until the conclusion of the Rugby Championship.

The Boks also have two forwards coaches in Matthew Proudfoot and Johann van Graan. The former is in charge of the scrums and the breakdown while Van Graan focusses on the lineouts and attacking play.

“Allister (Coetzee) has created a fantastic environment for the coaching staff,” Van Graan told Netwerk24.

“JP’s focus is very detailed and he achieved a lot of success with the Lions. Franco has just won the Currie Cup and has already brought one or two new ideas to the table.”

Van Graan said there was a thorough discussion around the different coaching roles in the Bok setup.

“You can’t look at the different areas of the game in isolation,” he said. “Allister has defined everyone’s role and we have embraced it and are hard at work.”

Poor tactical kicking and defence is at the top of the list of things being worked on. The Boks missed 40 tackles in their last Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks.

“It’s definitely our biggest shortcoming at the moment and that is where is JP and Franco come in. Franco focusses mostly on the kicking and new plans on the attack.”

Van Graan added the Boks also needed to improve their finishing significantly.

“During the Rugby Championship we failed to play enough rugby in the opposition’s half which makes it difficult to build pressure and score.”