Springboks train eyes on former Ireland forward

Former Munster and Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery is poised to become the new defence coach for the Springboks  – report Afrikaans news outlet Rapport.

Currently serving as the defence coach for Harlequins, Flannery is no stranger to high-performance teams. His tenure at Harlequins follows a significant stint at Munster where he worked under Rassie Erasmus during the 2016/17 season. Quins boast a remarkable record in the Gallagher Premiership with the second-best defence,

This move comes at a pivotal time for the South African national team following the departure of Jacques Nienaber, the previous head coach and defence expert.

Flannery’s potential appointment would fill a crucial gap, bringing his expertise and strategic approach to the Springboks’ coaching panel. His name was not initially among a number of speculated candidates; with earlier reports suggesting that retired Ulster and South Africa number eight Duane Vermeulen was in line for the position.

Additionally, the story from Rapport indicates that Tony Brown, renowned for his role as attack coach and his work with Japan in the last two World Cups, is also set to join the Springboks’ coaching staff.

Brown’s collaboration with former Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has been widely acclaimed.

If confirmed, Flannery’s role would also address the departure of Felix Jones, another former Munster player who recently transitioned to the role of defence coach with England.

Jones had been a part of the Springboks’ setup since their World Cup victory in 2019 and had a shared history with Flannery at Munster under both Erasmus and Johann van Graan.

If the move goes ahead it would be the latest in talent swapping between the two rugby superpowers on both a player and coaching basis; with the likes of Jean Kleyn, RG Snyman, Nienaber, Jones, Graan and Erasmus all moving pieces on the rugby’s increasingly open chess board.


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