Stick set for Bok return?
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Did the South Africa Rugby Union give a subtle hint that former backline coach Mzwandile Stick might return to the Bok set-up?
In 2016, Stick was appointed the Springboks backline coach which raised a few eyebrows. However, in 2017 the 32-year-old was replaced by Cheetahs Director of Rugby Franco Smith.
Fast forward to 2018, it seems like Stick could make a comeback, especially after the news of SA Rugby Union Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus presenting Bloemfontein-based Smith with an ultimatum.
According to the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, Erasmus told Smith to either move to Cape Town permanently, remains part of the Bok coaching staff, or stay in Bloemfontein and be cut from national team set-up.
However, it seems that if Smith refused to relocate, Stick, who is currently with the Junior Springboks, would be happy to return to his post.
Smith's future is not the only issue hanging in the air.
There has been suggested that current Bok coach Allister Coetzee could be replaced by Erasmus as the new head coach.
Coetzee and forwards coach Matt Proudfoot have both been linked to a move to Japan.
Stick along with Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber, recently completed their latest BokSmart certification as preparations for the 2018 season reaches full swing.
The BokSmart rugby safety course equips coaches and referees with the knowledge and skills to apply safe rugby techniques and basic medical and injury prevention practices. The course is compulsory for anybody who wants to coach or referee rugby in South Africa at any level.
The course features everything from rugby safety-related laws, concussion identification, treatment and management, on establishing functional emergency action plans, technical preparation, safer contact techniques especially for tacklers and ball carriers, and a renewed focus on prevention, identification and management of serious head, neck and spinal injuries.
Erasmus, Nienaber, Stick and other SA Rugby staff members attended the course, which was facilitated by SA Rugby’s Senior Manager for Rugby Safety, Wayne Viljoen, in Cape Town.
"The BokSmart rugby safety course is a necessity for anyone involved in the game as it empowers and educates individuals to make the correct decisions to protect our assets – the players," said Erasmus.
"The content provided in the course is thorough and is based on years of research, and it is fantastic that everyone who plays a role on the field in the country is exposed to this kind of information so that we can limit the number and damage caused by unnecessary injuries."