Cape Town – Swys de Bruin feels Jacques Nienaber would be the right man to step into the Springbok head coaching role.
According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, defence guru Nienaber is the favourite to become the next national coach, with Rassie Erasmus to step back into his director of rugby role.
De Bruin, a former attack consultant to the Boks, said Erasmus would still have a massive impact on the team.
“He (Erasmus) doesn’t have the personality to just step back. He’s just going to take some pressure off himself. I know Jacques well. We’ve had long discussions on the game and our philosophies, which differ. But after our discussions we gained a lot of respect for each other,” the former Lions mentor said.
For the sake of continuity, De Bruin said he would welcome Nienaber’s appointment. The latter does not have experience as a head coach, but has the backing of Erasmus and several top Springboks.
Nienaber’s name is not the only one mentioned as a possible successor to Erasmus, with the Sunday Times reporting late last month that former Southern Kings coach Deon Davids was “a strong candidate”.
Davids has reportedly been in discussions about a role since before the Rugby World Cup.
Davids was at the helm of the Southern Kings between 2016 and 2019. Under his guidance, the Port Elizabeth franchise showed promise in their final season of Super Rugby in 2017 when they won six matches.
However, the team struggled in their first two seasons in the PRO14, winning just three out of 42 games before Davids was sacked before the current campaign.
The new Springbok coach is expected to be named before Christmas, with SA Rugby president Mark Alexander saying last week that the new coach’s identity will be revealed before the organisation closes for the festive period.
– Compiled by Herman Mostert