McFarland feels sorry for axed Springbok backs coach Mzwandile Stick - Times LIVE
Fri May 26 01:49:52 SAST 2017

McFarland feels sorry for axed Springbok backs coach Mzwandile Stick

Khanyiso Tshwaku | 2017-03-01 12:30:24.0
Mzwandile Stick (Assistant Coach backline) of South Africa with Juan de Jongh during the South African national rugby team media conference at Kashmir Restaurant on October 04, 2016 in Durban, South Africa.
Image by: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Former Springbok and Bulls defence coach John McFarland says he feels sorry for axed Springbok backs coach Mzwandile Stick.

The 32-year-old Stick was shafted aside in the coaching changes announced by the South African Rugby Union on Monday and has been replaced by current Cheetahs coach Franco Smith.

Stick has been moved to the Under-20 team where he will be assisting former technical analyst and defence coach Chean Roux.

“I feel sorry for Stick‚" McFarland said.

"A guy like him needs time so he can gain experience. I also feel for Joey Mongalo with the Under-20's because he was moved aside.

"You need to give guys like them time within the system. These guys want help and they must be given that help.”

McFarland also advocated for a director of coaching position that would look after the coaching interests in South African rugby.

“They need to have somebody who is above the coaches to mentor the coaches.

"I know a lot of other countries have that but the job of that person is to go to young coaches and ask them what they need and what kind of help they need.

"They need to be able to guide and give positive feedback without being connected to anybody.”

McFarland also said Italy should not be blamed for operating on the limits of the law.

Conor O'Shea 's side avoided rucks in their Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham on Sunday‚ thereby making the offside line redundant and disrupting England's ball passed from the base of the ruck.

England coach Eddie Jones was not amused by the tactic employed by the Azzuri but McFarland said the Italians had every right to pursue what was deemed legal by them.

“What Italy did against England has been done before but not as much as it was done in that game. It caused England endless problems and Italy were leading at some stage.

"It made the game interesting and while Eddie Jones was not pleased‚ you play the game according to the laws that are available and credit must be given to Brendan Venter and Italy for what they did‚” McFarland said.

“World Rugby need to clarify that rule in the long term in terms of how far you can stand‚ how far you can go and what's the definition of a tackle.

"We don't want to see a game where in the wide channels‚ all the defenders are getting out of the tackle situation and there's a line of people blocking the pass.”

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport


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