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Bok forwards coach Proudfoot backs frequent rotation of personnel

12 June 2018 - 16:16 By Liam Del Carme
Matthew Proudfoot and RG Snyman during the South African national mens rugby team media briefing at Tsogo Sun on June 12, 2018 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Matthew Proudfoot and RG Snyman during the South African national mens rugby team media briefing at Tsogo Sun on June 12, 2018 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

Frequent rotation of personnel in the Springbok side in the coming months is essential if the team is going to be competitive at next year’s World Cup.

That’s the view of Springbok forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot‚ who argued that tinkering with the side is imperative if they are going to settle on the men best equipped for the task in Japan.

Despite the high turnover of faces‚ there is clarity in the selection process.

“There will be changes‚” he said about the team to play England in the second Test on Saturday.

“Rassie (Erasmus) wants this to be a dynamic side and he wants us to understand that he needs to build capacity in this team.

"That is the way we will operate.

“We will chop and change and evolve. We’ll give everybody opportunity to see who’s our best 32‚ 33‚ 34. That is the process for the next 18 months.

"When we rock up at the World Cup we’ll know exactly who’s the best.”

That process is firmly underway and irrespective who features in the side on Saturday‚ Proudfoot made it clear the Bok pack needs to be better.

He argued that neither forward pack had the ascendancy at Ellis Park and that those bragging rights are up for grabs on Saturday.

England will be better‚ especially if experienced second rower Joe Launchbury‚ who missed the first Test through injury‚ returns.

Launchbury’s efforts in the tight loose is highly commendable and his work rate for a man his size is immense.

“He’s an experienced international lock forward. Of course he’ll make a difference.

"He’ll be a more experienced international lock forward‚” Proudfoot said while patting RG Snyman’s leg.

Proudfoot‚ the only survivor of the Bok coaching set-up from last year‚ was a late addition to Erasmus’ coaching staff. He said uncertainty comes with the territory when you coach at a high level.

“As a coach it is part and parcel of your job. The job is about performance. We are the custodians of a very special brand.

"We have a lot of talent and we must make sure that talent performs at the highest level.”

Asked how different his job is under Erasmsus compared to when he served under Allister Coetzee‚ Proudfoot was diplomatic.

“The two men are two very dynamic human beings. Allister and Rassie.

"Rassie is the master tactician. He leaves nothing to chance. It is a learning experience. I’m enjoying it.

“Allister had a different focus. He’s a very good man. They are both strong coaches. We need more of our head coaches in this country to be strong people.”

He was equally diplomatic when asked about Saturday’s referee Romain Poite.

“The key is for the players to make a quick assessment in the game. The players need to adapt on the field‚ That is a learning curve the players need to understand.”