Somehow, the Kiwis just manage to outsmart most other countries, and not only on the pitch.
Steve Hansen was an assistant coach under Graham Henry for a long time, including two RWC campaigns, before assuming the top job when Henry retired. Around 2000, they paired up coaching Wales before Henry returned to New Zealand in 2002, and Hansen took over at Wales. His Welsh side nearly scuppered the All Blacks in the quarterfinals in 2003.
Ian Foster joined the All Black coaching squad in 2012, and appears to be held in high esteem by his colleagues. Wayne Smith, who was part of the All Blacks coaching staff from 2004 through to the team’s victory at Rugby World Cup 2011, returned to the squad in 2015 as a specialist defence coach
This continuity extends to what happens on the playing field as well. If Hansen should suddenly be unavailable, there are plenty of experienced people around to continue his good work.
There is no need to expand on the South African experience. Since the days of Louis “Fax” Luyt, the crown on the head of the Springbok coach certainly sat uneasily, to paraphrase the Bard.
Heyneke Meyer’s contract was extended to 2019 recently, but past experience has shown that this will depend more on the performance of his charges than on the legal standing of the contract. If non-performing politicians can be removed by means of a golden handshake, why not rugby coaches?
Meyer’s success in transforming Bulls rugby by changing the structures in the early 2000’s is well documented. One hopes that he will achieve the same while at the helm of Springbok rugby before the politicians force his removal.
It is vital that we build up a strong back-up team for the coach to ensure continuity. Apart from criticism from South African rugby supporters, previous coaches and politicians, there is also the very real threat of a heart attack when he gets animated during a match.
Die Eddie Jones Sage
Mens moet maar versigtig wees om alles te glo wat jy lees. Nog voor Jones aangestel is by die WP hoor ons al dat hy Victor Matfield wil Kaap toe lok.
Moenie verbaas wees as jy volgende hoor dat hy Nuweland wil verruil vir die Kaapstad Sokker stadion nie. Die enigste rede waarom jy dit nog nie gelees het nie, is bloot omdat niemand nog daaraan gedink het nie.
Watch this space.