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Erasmus gets 'up close and personal' with new coaches & Peyper

NEWS: New Springbok assistant coaches Jerry Flannery and Tony Brown and retired referee Jaco Peyper contributed “enormously” to proceedings at a two-day strategic coaches’ session on Monday and Tuesday in Cape Town.

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The camp – under the guidance of head coach Rassie Erasmus – marked the first in-person Springbok coaches meeting following the team’s World Cup triumph in France in 2023.

Flannery and Brown, as new defence and attack specialists, are filling the roles vacated by the departure of Jacques Nienaber and Felix Jones to Ireland and England respectively.

The former international referee, Peyper, is the team’s national laws advisor.

“It was fantastic to have the coaches and Jaco in the same room and to share our ideas with an eye on the 2024 season,” said Erasmus.

“Tony, Jerry and Jaco leapt straight into the swing of things, and it’s fantastic to see how they bonded with the rest of the coaching team who have been in the system for the last few years, so we are looking forward to this new chapter for Springbok rugby.”

The invited group of players will join the camp later on Tuesday, where they will participate in a string of boardroom sessions until Thursday.

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The focus of the alignment camp will be to expose the players to the demands of Springbok rugby, the key areas for the coaches in the national system, and what the coaches will be looking for from the players when they select the squad for the international season.

The back-to-back world champions will kick off the season on Saturday, June 22, against Wales at Twickenham.

They then return to South Africa for the two-Test series against Ireland – on July 6 and July 13 in Pretoria and Durban respectively.

That is followed by a historic Test against Portugal in Bloemfontein on July 20.

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This will be followed by the Rugby Championship in August and September which will see the team play two away Tests against Australia, successive home Tests against New Zealand in Johannesburg and Cape Town, a trip to Argentina, and a home Test against the Pumas in Nelspruit.

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“We’ve had several online meetings in the last few months, but the human element is always great, and this camp allowed everyone to get to know one another in a personal and professional manner.”

Erasmus added: “We are pleased with the foundation laid before we kick off the player sessions on Wednesday, and it’s great to see the enthusiasm among the coaches to get the season underway.”

Erasmus was thrilled about welcoming the players to the first of three alignment camps before the opening Test.

“As a coaching team, we have a good idea of what we’d like to do this season and we are excited to present our key pillars to this group of players.

“This is a solid group of players, and these camps will be invaluable in putting the groundwork in place – not only for this season but also to set the tone for where we’d like to take our game in the future.

“The sport is progressing at a rapid rate, and we must grow as a team to remain at the forefront of where rugby is moving.

“We made it clear last year that what we did in 2019 would not be enough to defend our title at the 2023 World Cup, and the same concept applies after last year’s international spectacle.”

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