Springboks

Dalton: Rassie will remain the Bok puppet master

James Dalton (Gallo Images)
James Dalton (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok hooker James Dalton has shared his views on the new coaching structure of the national team.

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Fitness guru Jacques Nienaber has stepped in as head coach to replace Rassie Erasmus, with the latter taking a back seat to focus on his director of rugby role.

However, in an exclusive interview with Sport24, Dalton said he believed Erasmus would still be calling the shots.

"Going from fitness coach to Springbok head coach is debatable but we all know that Rassie Erasmus is still going to be the puppet master," Dalton said.

Dalton added that he thought the new system could reap rewards.

"Jacques has been with Rassie for a long time and they have shared a lot of success. What is good in my view is that Jacques brings consistency and he will continue the trends Rassie set. You don’t want to choose a coach from outside the system who brings his own personal ways and starts unbundling everything. We need consistency not a new structure. I have the strong belief that if we keep what we have in place and carry on building, we could probably win back-to-back World Cups."

Dalton, who played 43 Tests for the Boks between 1994 and 2002, also commented on the new appointments of Deon Davids (forwards) and Daan Human (scrum) as assistant coached.

"Deon Davids and Daan Human are both competent but I'm not convinced by their appointments. In terms of Human, I wouldn’t say he has the necessary legacy as a Springbok to coach the world champions’ scrum. At national level, you have to inspire rather than coach. From my viewpoint, you need icons that players can look up to."

The rest of the Springbok management team comprises Mzwandile Stick (backline coach) and Felix Jones (European-based attack consultant).

READ | Full Q&A interview with James Dalton

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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