Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has welcomed the addition of Percy Montgomery to the management squad as a kicking consultant.
Montgomery, capped 102 times for the Springboks, will start his tenure in May when the squad assembles to begin its preparations for the Test series against the British & Irish Lions. He will continue in the role throughout the Test season.
‘I am delighted that Percy has agreed to join us,’ said De Villiers.
‘Aside from his obvious rugby ability, Percy is one of the greatest kickers to ever grace the game and it would be silly for us not to make use of the wealth of experience he has to offer. It is also important that we make use of specialists such as Percy to refine and improve specific aspects of our game.
‘Percy’s primary role will be to work with the kickers in the squad on all aspects of kicking that is required during the game. He will also have a broader role in imparting the technical and tactical knowledge he has garnered in his 102 Test matches.
‘He will be a great asset to the team and I am sure that the players will respond very well to his inputs.’
The Springboks’ primary kickers are likely to benefit hugely from Montgomery’s skill and experience. His main focus will be working with whoever De Villiers entrusts with the goal-kicking responsibilities.
Mongomery, who refined his goal-kicking style while at Welsh club Newport and proceeded to become one of world rugby’s most consistent marksman, is looking forward to the challenge.
‘I was privileged to wear the jersey as a player and now have the opportunity to continue my association with the team in a different capacity. As a player I was passionate and committed to the Springbok cause and will follow the same approach in my new role,’ he said.
‘It will be my responsibility to ensure that we develop and improve the all-round kicking game and instill confidence in our kickers, be they goal-kickers or those that must be able to kick effectively in open play. It will also be important to boost the confidence of each kicker in terms of his own abilities,’ Montgomery said.
Montgomery holds 94 Springbok records, including the most Test points (893), most Tests at fullback (87), most points in a game (35), most conversions and penalties (153 and 148 respectively) and most points at Rugby World Cup 2007 (105).
At the Rugby World Cup in France in 2007 he kicked 31 out of 33 kicks at goal including four penalties in South Africa’s 15-6 triumph over England in the Final.