Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White credits assistant coach Brendan Venter and captain Warren Whiteley for the turnaround in the team’s fortunes.
After a torrid 2016 season in which South Africa won only four out of 12 Tests, the Boks have started 2017 on a high note by beating France comfortably in their first two Tests.
Venter was roped in by head coach Allister Coetzee as defence and exits consultant, while Whiteley replaced the retired Adriaan Strauss as captain.
And according to White, these appointments were masterstrokes.
“There’s no doubt that the influence of Brendan Venter has been immense and Warren Whiteley, whether people like him or not, has got it right,” White wrote via a column for All Out Rugby.
“Nothing else has changed since last year - they’ve changed the captain and added an assistant coach, and the team has gone from terrible to winning their first two Tests.
“There seems to be a completely different message coming out of the Bok camp now. They’re humble, and they’re not getting ahead of themselves. It’s a very different message to what was coming out last year, and that is commendable.”
White, who led the Boks to World Cup glory in 2007, is set to join Japanese club Toyota Verblitz after spending three years in France coaching Montpellier.