The expectation in South Africa is that Felix Jones will continue to work with the Springboks under the new coaching team. As for the man himself, he was tight-lipped on his future yesterday when asked what comes next after his World Cup experience.
This World Cup serves to remind us that previous form or results counts for little. The fact that Ireland had won two of their previous encounters against New Zealand only handed Steve Hansen and his coaching staff a template to beat us when it mattered most.
Thomas Du Toit should have really just been fighting off the jetlag but he looked for all the world yesterday like a guy whose head was still in the clouds after being parachuted onto the South African bench for tomorrow’s Pool B encounter with Namibia.
CAPE TOWN - After years of inane platitudes from All Black coach Steve Hansen about the rivalry with the Boks after his side racked up record scores against their old foes, things changed this week.
Hard to believe four years have elapsed since Ireland’s painful World Cup quarter final exit at the hands of Argentina in Cardiff. As Joe Schmidt enters the twilight of his spectacularly successful reign at the helm of Irish rugby, the next six weeks will shape the epilogue of a brilliant period for Irish rugby.
In times of turmoil, and there has been plenty of that at Munster in recent seasons, the onus falls on the playing squad’s leadership group to pull the province through troubled waters, and it will be no different this time as the unexpected search for new coaches begins.
Munster boss Johann van Graan insists he is committed to improving his existing squad as the province bids to win silverware for the first time in eight years but that will be without South Africa centre Jaco Taute, who was unveiled today by Leicester Tigers as a new signing for next season.
So, they meet again. Two years on from a semi-final encounter in Dublin that has proven significant for both sides, Munster and Saracens will be reunited at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena tomorrow for another Heineken Champions Cup knockout tussle.
Johann van Graan is hopeful his decision to stay on as Munster boss beyond his current contract can give the province the sort of stability that has propelled the likes of Saracens and the All Blacks to long-term and sustained success.
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus had exaggeratedly suggested he could be looking for a new job if his side had lost to the All Blacks on Saturday, instead a 36-34 win showed his team were moving the right way towards next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Johann van Graan has been involved in some pretty significant semi-finals in his coaching career and as he began preparations for Munster’s mission to succeed in Bordeaux this Sunday he urged his players to “embrace the expectation”.
After only spending 18 months immersed in the Irish game, newly appointed Springbok director of rugby and head coach Rassie Erasmus has already begun to implement many of the structures he encountered in a similar role with Munster to influence change in his country, writes
Ireland’s bid for Grand Slam glory is acting as a motivational tool for Billy Holland who leads Munster in Friday night’s rearranged Guinness PRO14 game against Edinburgh.