Toyota Free State Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith and Xerox Golden Lions defence specialist, JP Ferreira, have been seconded to the Springbok management team for the end of year tour at the request of the Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, SA Rugby announced on Thursday.

SA Rugby kicking specialist, Louis Koen, will also join the four-match tour, which features Tests against England, Italy and Wales and opens with a match against the Barbarians at Wembley on 5 November.

The trio will assemble with the Springbok squad and management in Johannesburg next week.

Smith will be involved in backline play and skills while Ferreira takes responsibility for defence. Ferreira succeeds Chean Roux, who had filled the role on a temporary basis for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Munster in mid-year.

The appointments were confirmed during the SA Rugby Coaches’ Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday.

Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO, said: “There have been a number of meetings with the Springbok coach following the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. His request was that he needed more expertise in certain areas.

“We have added to the management’s strength for this tour and the situation will be reassessed by the Springbok Coach at the conclusion of the season.

“I’d like to thank the Cheetahs and Lions for their whole-hearted support of our request – which shows the spirit of collaboration that has been highlighted by the indaba,” said Roux.

Coetzee said: “Both Franco and JP are experienced coaches at Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup level. They are both hardworking and well respected individuals. They will fit in well with the current management and I am convinced that they will add value.”

The Springbok squad for the tour will be announced following the Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

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  1. I have not seen any improvement in kicking since Louis Koen has been involved since the Heyneke days, is he really the best we have?

    Vlok Cilliers seemed to have great success at the Bulls during their heydays as kicking coach.

    Hopefully Franco and JP can ad some much needed direction to the Boks. Having the opportunity to work continuously for 4 weeks with the players might have a positive effect.

    It would be great if we could see an improvement from the first game to the last, probably all we can hope for at this stage.

  2. @Craven: You have beaten me to it with your comment! Koen has shown ZERO effectiveness in the teams he coached. Even as a player he was not that effective in general kicking out of hand. Not sure of JP (do not know him, but notice ongoing defense frailties of Rohan for Lions…) nor of Franco (lots of hype around him, his team was crappest of the crappest in S15). But will Round Stick allow Franco to steer backline (where I think he will be utilised)? If so, then Round STick is now the ultimate Quota!

  3. I also don’t understand why Vlok Cilliers is not utilized more. He was really good at the Bulls and the Cape side’s kicking has also improved immensly with him there.

    As for JP, I don’t know enough about him and couldn’t help but laugh at the comment that Franco has a lot of experience in coaching currie cup level

  4. Surely a backline player who has been selected to represent the Springboks should know how to kick effectively? Is this not part of what his club / province is meant to train?

  5. Totally pointless. They are actually clueless this lot.

    Get an international coach with an international perspective – why would we want yet more South African coaches. This whole setup needs to be shaken up if SA rugby is actually interested in change rather than just paying lip service to it.

    That EOy tour is going to be horrific. This coach is on borrowed time.

  6. Franco Smith?
    The former “Gerneralissimo Franco” if you recall.
    Upon his intro at Cheetahs Bunny was like….oh Americano you’ll like Franco etc – so I gave him a nickname right from the get-go.
    Big Mistake.
    Franco Smith has been a S18 dud – big time.
    I think AC & the sycophants that hang around SARU are just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
    If they were not that Jacques Niebar, Naka Drotske, Jimmy Stonehouse would have been involved but instead of that….
    AC & SARU just chose to hang out with BORING Normies that will laugh at all their lame jokes.
    SAD !

  7. I don’t share the negative feelings you guys express. The appointment of Franco Smith to manage backline play and skills is surely a good thing. This is what he did for the Free State Currie Cup XV who are favourites to win a 5th Currie Cup this w/end. The attacking style of play adopted by the Superugby Cheetahs he coaches has been the reason for the Cheetahs’ popularity in other centres.

    As for JP Ferreira, the Lions would not have got to where they did were it not for a good defensive coach. In a more substantial article on the appointments on the Planet Rugby site we are told he has coached with Eloff, White, Muir, Mitchell and Ackermann – if he didn’t know what he was doing, would they have kept him on at Ellis Park? Would the Lions have been the best of the SA Superugby sides this year?

    The Boks are going through tough times and need constructive criticism not the destructive kind. You guys would be surprised how badly the average kiwi I meet want a strong Bok side – have a look at this excellent letter posted by a kiwi on Planet Rugby – he echoes what a lot of kiwis think.

  8. @cab:

    You just do not get it do you?

    Nobody ‘international’ wants to touch the political mess that is Bok rugby!

  9. Don’t agree Bryce.

    Boks are a beast. A sleeping giant. Easy to get right. Plenty of coaches, even kiwis would relish the challenge.

    Mitchell would’ve turned Boks into a monster. Kiwis would be getting thumped, ozzies decimated, the rest crapped out.

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