Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White says there’s no template on how a rugby coach should make use of his substitutions.
Current national coach Rassie Erasmus has copped some criticism this year for the manner in which he has deployed his substitutions.
For example, when Erasmus made a raft of substitutions against the All Blacks in Pretoria, the Boks slumped from a 30-13 lead with 15 minutes remaining to a 32-30 defeat.
Via a column for the All Out Rugby website, White gave his opinion on how coaches should go about making use of substitutions.
He wrote: “The thing about substitutions is that it’s not an exact science, and the art of making good substitutions changes all the time. Certain players are better off the bench than starting Test matches, and if you’re going to embrace the advantages of having a match-day 23, there’ll be guys on the bench who come on and make a massive difference.
“But a player’s impact off the bench is influenced by too many factors to make it safe to tell that guy he’s definitely going to get a certain amount of game time before the match. Some guys make an impact dependent on the team you’re playing against, for other players the conditions play a part - the time remaining, the score, weather and the way the ref is managing the game. And that’s why there’s an art to making good substitutions - you can’t decide pregame who is going on, when.”
The 54-year-old White, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in France in 2007, is currently in charge at Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.