That’s what can be deduced by the appointment, on a consultancy basis, of Lions head coach Swys de Bruin as one of Bok boss Rassie Erasmus’ lieutenants for the one-off Test against Wales in Washington at the start of June and the three Tests against England in South Africa.
It is De Bruin’s first involvement with the Boks after serving rugby for several years. He was also involved with this week’s Bok “alignment camp” in Vanderbijlpark that included players from the Lions and Stormers, both of whom have Super Rugby byes.
Erasmus said the addition of De Bruin, who has been the Lions’ successful attack coach over the past few years, to the Bok coaching structure was part of the process to involve coaches from all local franchises with the preparation of the Boks.
“I’ve always said that we must improve our communication and co-operation with the local franchise coaches,” said Erasmus. “They spend much more time with the players, so better co-operation with them can only be a benefit”
Apart from tapping into the knowledge of expert consultants from time to time, Erasmus added he will ask the local franchise coaches to assist the Boks in specific areas. Attack and backline play is De Bruin’s area of expertise, which has contributed to the Lions scoring plenty of tries, over several seasons, in Super Rugby.
Meanwhile, Matt Proudfoot has been retained as scrum and lineout boss after former French international Pieter de Villiers withdrew.
Erasmus is also believed to be considering overseas-based players like prop Vincent Koch, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and centre Juan de Jongh for the June Tests, after an apparent weakening – in special cases – of the 30-Test rule. It is understood if Erasmus is able to give valid reasons for picking an overseas-based player he will be allowed to do so.
There’s also been talk that Duane Vermeulen, JP Pietersen, Bismarck du Plessis and Frans Steyn could add greater depth for next year’s World Cup.