Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has praised the work done by assistant coach Mzwandile Stick during the year.
Having been the Bok backline coach under Allister Coetzee in 2016, Stick was then axed from the coaching team for 2017 with Coetzee instead turning to Cheetahs coach Franco Smith.
Erasmus, however, made the decision to go back to Stick when his tenure started this year, though he did not bring him in as backline coach.
Instead, Stick has been tasked with worth working exclusively with off-the-ball movements and positions on both defence and attack.
"When Mzwandile Stick was appointed, in my opinion he was never a backline coach, not at that level yet," Erasmus explained in an exclusive interview with SuperSport commentator Matthew Pearce.
"His expertise was off the ball work and that came from his Sevens background.
"I sat down with him and discussed it all in detail.
"After the England series Eddie Jones said that our work of the ball had been brilliant, and that for me was total vindication of the guy's talents.
"I think he played a big role."
Under Erasmus, the Boks won 7 of their 14 Test matches in 2018.