Matt Proudfoot. (Photo by Juan Jose Gasparini/Gallo Images)
- The Springboks acknowledge the role played by former forwards coach Matt Proudfoot in their success, but aren’t concerned about his inside info for Saturday’s Test at Twickenham.
- Proudfoot is currently an assistant coach for England and coached various members of the Bok forward pack as far back as his Stormers days.
- But national assistant coach Deon Davids points out that the level of analysis is so detailed anyway that Proudfoot’s “extra” knowledge is merely an extra challenge.
Steven Kitshoff and the rest of the Springboks aren’t particularly concerned over England possessing a bit of inside info on them through Matt Proudfoot.
South Africa’s World Cup-winning forwards coach didn’t have his contract extended after 2019’s triumph in Japan and subsequently joined the Red Roses’ setup under Eddie Jones, the Boks’ hosts at Twickenham on Saturday.
For Kitshoff and others such as Siya Kolisi, Bongi Mbonambi and Vincent Koch the association extends all the way back to the Stormers in Super Rugby.
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“I don’t think we can deny that Matt played a huge role. His portfolio was very much the scrums and lineouts and we were very successful in those facets of the game,” the flame-haired prop said.
“Matt is very familiar with us as players and worked with some of us longer back than just the national setup. He knows what our strengths and weaknesses are. It’s definitely going to be a bit of a challenge.”
However, as Deon Davids – Proudfoot’s successor in the Jacques Nienaber era – points out, the level of analysis has become so detailed that England probably wouldn’t even need their potential trump card to have a good idea of what makes this Springbok vintage click.
“A lot of analysis is done by coaches at this level,” he said.
“England would’ve done the same, they would’ve done individual profiles and team profiles, which relates to tactics. So from that point of view, we’ll have our work cut out and it will be a big challenge.”
“The converse is also true for us. We’ve done our homework in a same manner on England,” he said.
“What I’m very proud of is that we’ve improved and grown a lot as a team this past year. There are quite a few new adjustments and tactics that we’ve added to our game.
“It started against the Lions and we’ve worked on it throughout.”
Motivating the Boks to apply the finishing touches to their improved product is the desire to cap off a decent season with a victory in London.
“We feel that it’s the most important game of the season,” said Kitshoff.
“It has been a tough, long year, but there is a lot of energy in the camp to get a good result. It is an important game for us to keep our No 1 spot in the world rankings until the international season starts again next year.
“This is a game of a lot of importance and it’s great just to go three on the trot.”
The Springboks announce their team at 14:00 on Tuesday.
Source by www.news24.com