AUDIO: Stick's Springbok role revealed

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:42

LISTEN as new Springbok coach Johan Erasmus explains what role the much-maligned Mzwandile Stick will play in the national team set-up.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Erasmus will spearhead the Bok management team until the end of the 2023 World Cup.

The South Africa Rugby Union confirmed Erasmus, affectionately know as Rassie, will combine his Springbok coaching duties with his current role as Director of Rugby.

His three assistant coaches will be Jacques Nienaber (defence), Pieter de Villiers (forwards) and Mzwandile Stick (backs) - while Aled Walters will join the management team as Head of Athletic Performance.

The appointment of Stick - controversially foisted upon Allister Coetzee in a disastrous 2016 campaign as backline - will again raise eyebrows, as it did two years ago.

It is felt his lack of a first-class coaching pedigree and the failures of 2016 will come back to haunt the Boks.

However, Erasmus is adamant Stick will add "massive" value to the national team.

"My idea was, two years ago when he [first] came into the Springbok set-up, that he has a specific skill," Erasmus said.

"He was the Sevens [BlitzBoks] captain and was [World Rugby's] Sevens player of the year," the Bok coach said.

He felt that Stick's experience as the Eastern Province Under-19 and Vodacom Cup coach, as well as having been an assistant coach of the Southern Kings, along with his stints as an assistant at the Springboks (2016) and Junior Boks (2017) will stand him in good stead.

"He brings a specific skillset," Erasmus said, adding: "It is not a backline coach or an attack coach.

"I am definitely going to utilise him in something specific, which was the intention two years ago.

"[It is] more the Sevens off-the-ball workrate. Getting players into position early, something that he is familiar with."