Smith to 'mentor' Stick
NEWS: Free State Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith and Golden Lions defence specialist JP Ferreira have been seconded to the Springbok management team for the end of year tour.
This has been done at the request of the Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.
Kicking specialist Louis Koen will also join the four-match tour - which features Tests against England (November 12, London), Italy (November 19, Florence) and Wales (November 26, Cardiff) and opens with a match against the Barbarians at Wembley on November 5.
The trio will assemble with the Springbok squad and management in Johannesburg next week.
Smith will be involved in backline play and skills, while Ferreira takes responsibility for defence.
Ferreira succeeds Chean Roux, who was out of his depth in the June Tests and Rugby Championship.
The Bok defence has been the biggest bone of contention this year.
Whether you look at the 22 tries they conceded in six Rugby Championship matches or the nine they coughed up in the record 15-57 loss to the All Blacks in the last match, nothing tells the story like the 40 tackles missed against the Kiwis in Durban earlier this month.
If your tackle success rate is below 80 percent, you are going to lose more matches than you win - which may explain why the Boks, with their kick-and-tackle tactics, have won just four of their nine Tests this year.
The appointments were confirmed during the SA Rugby Coaches' Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday.
Ferreira and Smith will help out with the Springboks for four weeks and will return to their franchises afterwards for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
"There have been a number of meetings with the Springbok coach, following the Rugby Championship," South African Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux said.
"His request was that he needed more expertise in certain areas.
"We have added to the management's strength for this tour and the situation will be reassessed by the Springbok coach at the conclusion of the year.
"I'd like to thank the Cheetahs and Lions for their whole-hearted support of our request - which shows the spirit of collaboration that has been highlighted by the indaba," said Roux.
Coetzee said: "Both Franco and JP are experienced coaches at Super Rugby and Currie Cup level.
"They are both hardworking and well-respected individuals.
"They will fit in well with the current management and I am convinced that they will add value."
The Lions said they are happy to "help" the Boks.
"We support SA Rugby's decision to appoint JP [Ferreira] for the year-end tour, as we believe that he can add value," said Golden Lions Rugby Union XEO Rudolf Straeuli.
"He has been a stalwart for the union for the last nine years through some tough times."
Ferreira was overwhelmed with the opportunity that came his way.
"I am nervous and excited at the same time. It is like a dream come true to work with the Springboks, even if it is only for four weeks," he said.
"As a young boy, my dream was to become a Springbok. It did not happen as a player, but I kept my dream alive by deciding to become a coach.
"Over the past nine years at the Lions, I have had the opportunity to work with dedicated and passionate coaches like Eugene Eloff, Jake White, Dick Muir, John Mitchell and Johan Ackermann - all of whom taught me the knowledge, skills and values I apply to my own coaching philosophy.
"Thanks to Johan [Ackermann] who had the confidence to appoint me as a defence coach.
"My dream is being achieved as a coach. I would also like to thank the Lions for affording me the opportunity. I am both humbled and grateful," Ferreira added.
The Springbok squad for the tour will be announced following the Currie Cup Final in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Bok coach Allister Coetzee has revealed that he will 'split' his squad for the year-end tour, with two separate teams to be named.
One squad will be named for the international match against the Barbarians at Wembley on November 5 and another squad for the remaining three tour matches.
With as many as 17 players not available for the encounter against the BaaBaas, because they are based abroad and the game falls outside the international window, there could be a host of bolters in the squad for the opening fixture.
However, what is of more significance is the changes to the make-up of Allister Coetzee's coaching panel.
The selection for the encounter with the BaaBaas may also give us an insight into Coetzee's future plans.
Not only are 17 players (who featured in Bok matchday or training squads this year) unavailable due to their commitments with European and Japanese clubs, but another nine are on the injury list.
Just 10 players, from the 23-man squad that lost 15-57 to the All Blacks earlier this month, are available for the encounter with the BaaBaas.
Players who could be among the bolters for the November 5 outing at the Wembley stadium could include Francois Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Jamba Ulengo, Sergeal Petersen, Travis Ismaiel, Anthony Volmink, Rudolph Snyman, Retshegofaditswe Nche, Thomas du Toit and Jannes Kirsten.