Lions coach Swys de Bruin will join the Springbok coaching staff on a consultancy basis for the June matches.
The addition of De Bruin is part of the process to involve coaches from all local franchises with the preparation of the Springboks, an initiative of Bok head coach Rassie Erasmus, who is also the South African Rugby Union Director of Rugby.
De Bruin will link up with the Springboks in the build-up to their first Test of the year, against Wales in Washington DC on 2 June, as well as for the much-anticipated three-Test series against England, which kicks off on June 9 in Johannesburg.
“I’ve always said that we must improve our communication and cooperation with the local franchise coaches,” said Erasmus.
“They spend much more time with the players, so better cooperation with them can only be a benefit and should be an obvious thing.”
“Swys and some of his colleagues from the Lions joined us at the second alignment camp, as did members of the Stormers coaching team, while a couple of Vodacom Bulls coaches were there for the first camp.”
“It was really great to have them with us for those sessions and they played an active part in the various technical sessions.”
Apart from tapping into the knowledge of expert consultants from time to time, Erasmus indicated that he will ask the local franchise coaches to assist the Boks in specific areas.
“I am delighted that Swys, with the blessing of the Lions, has agreed to accompany us to Washington and also help out during the England series,” added Erasmus.
The final Springbok alignment camp takes in Durban from 22 to 25 April, with players from the Sharks as they have a bye that week.
Yesterday South African Rugby Union confirmed that Matt Proudfoot will regain his role as Springbok assistant coach and will be responsible for scrums and line-outs in the current team setup.
Proudfoot, who was part of the Springbok coaching team the past two years as scrum coach, will take over from Pieter de Villiers.
De Villiers was included in a revamped Springbok coaching team earlier this year under Erasmus, but the former French international has informed SARU that he can unfortunately no longer continue in that role because of pressing family commitments.
“After my discussions with Pieter, we jointly came to the conclusion that he would unfortunately not be able to give all his attention to the Springboks, which is fully understandable given his current family commitments,” explained Erasmus.
Proudfoot joined the Springbok management team at the national squad’s second four-day alignment camp, which finished in Vanderbijlpark on Wednesday.
“Matt has a good understanding and relationship with the group of players who represented the Springboks the past two seasons and slotted in easily,” said Erasmus.
In terms of his future role at SA Rugby, De Villiers will from now on focus on the various Elite Player Development programmes, assist with the preparations of the Junior Springboks and also the SA Schools team.
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