PODCAST: Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber speaks to IOL Sport
CAPE TOWN – While Jacques Nienaber played a big part in the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup triumph, he has taken up a new role in 2020 as the head coach.
Rassie Erasmus will still be around as the director of rugby, but Nienaber will handle the day-to-day operations of the Bok side.
What will that exactly entail? Also, will he still be in charge of the defence?
IOL Sport spoke to the 47 year old in Berlin this week, where the Boks clinched the Laureus Team of the Year award.
Nienaber mentioned how the 1995 World Cup win was the inspiration for him wanting to be part of the rugby set-up.
“I can’t tell you what I did after the win – it was a disaster! It was unbelievable. I never thought back then that we would have any success, because we were out of rugby for such a long time. Didn’t not believe it, but I thought it would be a tough tournament for us,” Nienaber said.
“Winning it just changed everything in terms of rugby in South Africa. I was studying to be a physio then, and I wanted to be the Springbok physio. The physio (Evan Speechly), I wanted to be him. From my perspective, it was just about trying to get into rugby and become a sports physio.
“But for me personally, it changed a lot of where I wanted to be – it looked like fun!”
And seeing all the big sports stars in Berlin was also an eye-opener for Nienaber: “I always thought this is big, but I never understood the enormity of it until I got here, and saw the people who are part of this massive organisation.
“And all the sportspeople who are here, it’s amazing – you see them on the TV, and to see them in real life is quite humbling.
“It was an unbelievable honour and privilege to be part of it.”@ashfakmohamed