Smal takes French lessons

Springbok forwards coach Gert Smal has returned from a fact-finding mission to France full of confidence for the Bok forwards’ chances this year.

Smal returned from France on Tuesday after spending time with respected scrum coach Serge Lairle, who is the forwards coach at Toulouse.

“I was in Toulouse for 10 days and I was allowed to attend all their training sessions and matches. They were very helpful and I had access to everything,” Smal told Die Burger on his return.

“The visit was particularly stimulating, because we (SA coaches) are at southern Africa’s southernmost point and very isolated. There are players and coaches in Europe from all over the world and there’s cross-pollination of ideas,” he said.

“New Zealand and Australia are also close to each other and their coaches can easily get together. A visit like this one nevertheless showed me that we’re on the right track with our coaching.”

Smal also talked to former Western Province and Stormers prop Daan Human, who has been playing for Toulouse for the past two seasons.