VIDEO: Unique way in which Boks decided their pecking order
WATCH as new Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber continues to explain what made the team so special in Japan last year.
Professor Jon Patricios, the former team doctor of Boks and the founder/Director of Sports Concussion South Africa, speaks to Nienaber about more of the aspects that set the Boks apart at the World Cup.
In this feature, Nienaber explains how they decide the pecking order in the team and what the role of the leaders played in helping captain Siyamthanda Kolisi.
He said the Boks were blessed with a lot of good leaders in the team.
“We had several guys who captained the Springboks,” Nienaber said in a webinar hosted by Wits University.
“[There were] Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya [Kolisi], Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Brits and Eben Etzebeth,” the Bok coach said, adding: “At one stage when we had discussions around simple things, which could have created big problems, we had all the players that captained the Boks sitting there – seven of them.
“Everybody had input. We had a very transparent environment.”
Nienaber explained that Rassie Erasmus – then Bok coach, now Director of Rugby – made it clear there were no ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ players in the team.
* Watch from about 23 minutes 32 seconds on the video to hear about the pecking order in the Bok team!
“He [Erasmus] explained it like this: ‘If Faf [de Klerk] is seen as a senior and Herschel Jantjies is seen as a junior, because they have a five-year age difference, what happens when Faf is 30 and Herschel is 25? who is the senior then? Is it Faf because he is five years older? If Herschel has a bigger influence on the team then, when will he ever overtake Faf [in the pecking order]?’
“The seniority in our team was about the input and output, it was about ownership,” Nienaber added.
“It was not about how old you are or how many Test matches you have played.
“Leadership was the same.
“Siya [Kolisi] was the captain, but there were other leaders.
“There were defensive leaders, physical leaders, leaders of the scrum – they all had their own roles to play.”
He said leadership in the Bok team was always a combined effort.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Siya or add to [embellish] others.
“It was a collective.
“What I thought Siya did well, he was never selfish. He was also open and transparent and always wanted input from other players.”