Lions coach Swys de Bruin roped into Springboks
The spirit of cooperation between the Springboks and the Super Rugby franchises firmed further on Friday with the news that Lions coach Swys de Bruin has been roped in a consultant for the June internationals.
SA Rugby director of rugby and Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said in a statement De Bruin’s inclusion is part of the initiative to involve coaches from the franchises at national level.
De Bruin‚ who is widely regarded for his prowess around backline play and attack‚ is only in his first year as head coach at Super Rugby level.
He took over at the Lions from Johan Ackermann who guided the franchise to two consecutive Super Rugby finals.
The Lions have not been as convincing this season‚ but injury to key players has hamstrung their progress.
De Bruin will join the Boks in the buildup to their first test of the year‚ against Wales in Washington DC on June 2.
The 58-year old will stay on for the incoming 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 so did members of the Stormers' coaching team‚ while a couple of 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 Emirates 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 April 22 to 25‚ with players from the Sharks as they have a bye that week.