International Rugby, Springboks

Record try-scoring Lions’s Swys de Bruin gets Bok ‘attack’ coaching job

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus will invest in the skills and mind of Lions coach Swys de Bruin for the four June internationals against Wales and England. De Bruin’s Lions have scored more tries than any team in the competition.

The Lions, in 2016 and 2017 when De Bruin was backline coach, scored the most tries in Super Rugby in both years. In 2018 the try-scoring impact has again been a characteristic of the Lions, and Erasmus told it was obvious what De Bruin could add to the national set-up in June.

De Bruin is rated as the most innovative and attack minded coach in South Africa.

De Bruin, thanks to an agreement between the South African Rugby Union and the Lions Rugby Union, will consult with the Springboks in the international month of June. He will resume his head coach duties with the Lions post the June internationals.

Erasmus, since returning to South Africa as Director of Rugby in November, 2017, has worked closely with the four Super Rugby franchises and South Africa’s two Pro 14 franchises. He has spent time with all the franchises, attended home matches and been an observer within the regional coaching structures and long held the view that his best support staff encompassed the six main coaching structures of South African professional rugby.

“I’ve always said that we must improve our communication and cooperation with the local franchise coaches,” said Erasmus.

“They spend much more time with the players, so better cooperation with them can only be a benefit and should be an obvious thing.

“Swys and some of his colleagues from the Lions joined us at the second alignment camp, as did members of the Stormers coaching team, while a couple of Bulls coaches were there for the first camp.

“It was really great to have them with us for those sessions and they played an active part in the various technical sessions.”

Erasmus said that the regional coaches, as consultants, would also focus on specific areas of coaching.

“I am delighted that Swys, with the blessing of the Lions, has agreed to accompany us to Washington and also help out during the England series,” added Erasmus.

The final Springbok alignment camp takes in Durban from April 22 to 25, with players from the Sharks as they have a bye that week.

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