Davids 'job shadowing' at Boks
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus set to vacate his role after the World Cup, the daunting task of finding a replacement has the rumour mill spinning.
Adding to the various speculations and theories is the presence of Deon Davids in the Springbok camp.
Erasmus made it very clear that following the World Cup, he will solely focus on his duties as the Director of Rugby, leaving the question who will take over the reins.
New Zealand have already laid out the process for a replacement for coach Steve Hansen. His assistant Ian Foster and Crusaders Super Rugby coach Scott Robertson are pencilled in for December interviews.
While Rugby Australia also confirmed that they are gearing up to scout for suitable candidates to replace Michael Cheika.
Unlike their Southern Hemisphere counterparts, coaching the national team in South African comes with its own set of challenges – including some political encumbrances.
Therefore making a selection is even more challenging.
There have been a handful of candidates, however, whether they have the pedigree to do the job successfully is another story that will have the Director of rugby scratching his head.
Johan Ackermann (Gloucester – head coach), Johann van Graan (Munster – head coach), Heyneke Meyer (Stade Français- head coach) and now Robert Du Preez, who recently parted form the Sharks, are just some of the names that could take over the position.
With Erasmus contracted as Director of rugby until the World Cup in 2023, abiding by his long term succession plans may see him look inside his own camp and promote one of his current assistants.
Matt Proudfoot (forwards coach), Jacques Nienaber (defence coach) and Mzwandile Stick (backline coach) along with Lions head coach Swys De Bruin (consultant and attack coach), have been working closely with Erasmus and could potentially be one of the guys coaching the Boks at the World Cup in 2023.
However, Davids’ presence, aided by his departure from the Southern Kings has opened up speculation that he is also in the running for the top job.
Davids was spotted coming out of a Bok team meeting at Monte Casino on Monday and was seen out on the training pitch at St Stithians with the players as they prepared for their Rugby Championship opener.
Erasmus, speaking to reporters at the Springboks team announcement in Johannesburg on Wednesday, clarified and managed to subdued most of the speculation.
“Chean Roux [Junior Springbok coach] and Deon Davids have been shadowing us,” Erasmus said, adding: “They are shadowing us in terms of personal development.
“Deon [Davids] has finished his stint with the Kings and is currently looking at his options for next year and he wanted to see how we do things.
“We have no problem with people shadowing us. Some of the guys go overseas to shadow Eddie Jones, John Mitchell and some guys do it at the Springboks. Certainly, nothing specific to read into.
“I think we are open to help South African coaches and we learn from that,”