VIDEO: 'It will be an amazing coup if the Boks get that right'
It is not yet confirmed, but if rumours proved to be true that All Black and Highlanders legend Tony Brown will be added to the Springbok coaching staff, it will be a ‘an amazing coup’.
The rumours of Brown’s move to South Africa first surface in the Afrikaans weekly newspaper Rapport – with various media outlets adding their own spin, so-much-so that some even claimed it was a done deal.
After guiding South Africa to their fourth World Cup title in France last year, Jacques Nienaber moved to Leinster in Ireland, while Felix Jones also departing to join Steve Borthwick’s England set-up.
Those vacancies will be filled, with the announcement expected in the ‘next week or so’.
The Boks Office crew – Hanyani Shimange and Jean de Villiers, with guests Schalk Brits and Brad Barritt – this week debated the merits of Brown and a Bok kit.
Brown’s most recent coaching stint was as an assistant coach of Japan at two World Cups.
“What an acquisition that would be,” said Barritt, a former England, Saracens and Sharks back.
“He was amazing,” the now retired international said.
“[He is] the guy to learn from.
“Still to date, [he threw] probably the best pass I’ve ever seen.
“It was just on a sixpence every single time.
“If it happens, that will be an amazing coup.”
Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, who played alongside Brown when he was at the Stormers in 2008, believes it is the IP that he brings that is the most significant.
(WATCH as the Boks Office crew talks about the rumours that All Black and Highlanders legend Tony Brown could be added to the Springbok coaching staff….)
“Imagine if the Boks get that right,” De Villiers said.
He pointed to the fact that Brown, who started at Otago and the Highlanders in 1995, played 16 years – finishing off with the Wild Knights in Japan in 2011.
“Then he went straight into coaching,” De Villiers said, adding: “He coached in Japan, coached the Highlanders, coached throughout the world.
“He’s got 35 years of IP and experience at the highest level that he can fall back on.
“Now he can bring that to the Boks.”
Shimange polled the panel about Brown’s potential with a dominant Springbok pack.
“I would love to see – if he gets the opportunity – what he can do with that backline,” Shimange said.
Any potential concerns about how, as a New Zealander, Brown would fit into the South African setup were quickly quashed.
“He played for the Stormers in 2008,” De Villiers said.
“Can you remember who the coach was?
Brits said they were all surprised when Brown rocked up at the Stormers in 2008.
“He was amazing,” Brits added.
Former Ireland and Munster hooker Jerry Flannery has also been linked with the Springboks post-World Cup 2023.
He worked as a scrum coach under Erasmus at Munster before going to Harlequins.
They also suggested that Duane Vermeulen would be a good fit for the Bok coaching panel.