Kolisi backs 'amazing' Nienaber as new Bok coach

Jacques Nienaber (Gallo)
Jacques Nienaber (Gallo)

Captain Siya Kolisi has welcomed the appointment of Jacques Nienaber as the new head coach of the Springboks.

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Nienaber was announced as the new man in charge in January, replacing Rassie Erasmus, who will now operate in his role as Director of Rugby on a full-time basis. 

In an Instagram live chat with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, Kolisi opened up on a range of topics, including his reaction to first hearing that he would lead the Springboks back in 2018. 

Nienaber has worked closely with Erasmus ever since the early 2000s at the Free State Cheetahs, accompanying him at the Stormers, Munster and, more recently, the Springboks. 

Considered a defensive mastermind who was instrumental to the Springboks winning the 2019 World Cup, Nienaber now takes the step up into a head coach role for the first time in his career. 

"Jacques is amazing," Kolisi said.

"He knows all of us and he's worked with all of us. I think he's worked with every guy playing Super Rugby. He was one of my coaches when I first came to Western Province, so I've known him for a long time.

"He's worked with coach Rassie ever since I have known coach Rassie.

"He knows how to get the best out of players and I think he's really going to be amazing."

Nienaber's first assignment as coach was due to come in July when the Boks were to host Scotland in two Tests and Georgia in one. 

The global coronavirus crisis, however, has seen international sport screech to a halt and there is no indication of when rugby in South Africa might return at this stage. 

"I would love to play, but I think that the most important thing is the safety of the people. If it's safe enough, it will be amazing because it will also give people something to look forward to in the week," Kolisi added. 

"As long as people are safe and people are being fed, because a lot of people are suffering as well.

"The sooner we help one another and keep people at home, and make sure people are looked after, then we can get back to playing again."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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