Coetzee explains assistant coaches decision

Franco Smith (Gallo Images)
Franco Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - It wasn't all about the indaba, and the big news from Thursday actually had nothing to do with the two-day think-tank in Cape Town. 

Earlier in the day, as around 50 delegates continued their rigorous debate about how South African rugby should move forward, news broke that Bok coach Allister Coetzee had added two new names to his management team. 

The first was Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, who will join as a skills and backline assistant for the tour, while the second came in the form of JP Ferreira from the Lions, who takes over from Chean Roux as defence coach.

The Bok defence has become a major concern throughout the Coetzee era, with the Boks having conceded 15 tries in their two matches against the All Blacks this year. 

Jacques Nienaber had been in charge of the Bok defence for Coetzee's first three Tests against Ireland, but he has since left the Mobi Unit, making Ferreira the third defence coach in the Coetzee era.

With Coetzee desperate for results in upcoming Tests against England, Italy and Wales, defence is an area where the Boks simply have to be clinical. 

Ferreira has the experience - he has been at the Lions since the Euegene Eloff era - but he now faces his first test at international level. 

"It was necessitated by the fact that Chean Roux was always just there for the Rugby Championship. He was an interim arrangement with Jacques (Nienabar) left," Coetzee explained.

"There was no Currie Cup coach or Super Rugby coach available during that period. 

"Now we are going on an end-of-year tour it’s going to be the third defensive coach which I have sort of requested to come on board. He might be the right guy and we would continue with him but that would be reviewed and assessed again after the end of year tour." 

Attack, though, and scoring tries remains the biggest challenge for the Boks. 

As a result, Coetzee has turned to Smith, who has guided his Free State Cheetahs side to nine straight wins in the Currie Cup this year ahead of this weekend's final.

"It’s important that we do, on a short term basis, look to improve our skill sets," Coetzee said.

"He’s a coach with a variety of aspects of the game that he’s coached overseas.

"He is a Springbok flyhalf. He’s coached scrums, he coached mauling in Italy where there was no expertise and he had to do that.

"He comes with a variety of skill sets and value that he can add. The immediate focus is to get those guys to come in and add value." 

Louis Koen will also have another stint as kicking coach for the tour. 

The Boks are set to name their squad after Saturday's Currie Cup final.

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