Is Springbok boss Rassie Erasmus set to announce his new coaching staff?

Is Springbok boss Rassie Erasmus set to announce his new coaching staff?

Former All Blacks flyhalf and Highlanders head coach Tony Brown could be unveiled as part of the Springboks' new-look coaching staff, according to a new report.

Reliable Afrikaans newspaper Rapport has reported that Brown is set to be named as the Boks' new attack coach as early as this week.

Meanwhile, former Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery looks set to be named as the Boks' new defence coach.

Brown, 49, represented the Highlanders at Super Rugby level between 1996 and 2011 and played in 18 Tests for New Zealand from 1999 to 2001 before moving on to a successful coaching career.

He was the Highlanders' head coach in 2021 and 2022, after working as an assistant at the Dunedin-based outfit for several seasons prior to that, and also had an extensive playing and coaching career in Japan.

After playing for Japanese club Sanyo Wild Knights between 2005 and 2011, Brown joined their backroom staff later in 2011 and also had coaching stints as an assistant with Otago and the Highlanders between 2012 and 2016.

Brown was also part of the Sunwolves' coaching staff in Super Rugby and worked under Japan head coach Jamie Joseph at the Rugby World Cup in France last year.

However, Joseph, who is also a former Highlanders head coach, returned to them to take up a role as their head of rugby after the World Cup, with former Wallabies and England boss Eddie Jones taking charge of the Brave Blossoms.

Brown has always said that he prefers to remain involved at international level, and it appears that the Springboks have attained his services.

He could have joined Joseph at the Highlanders but opted to hold on for a coaching job with a Test side, and SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus appears to have made his move for Brown after the World Cup.

Erasmus is back in his old position of Springboks head coach after Jacques Nienaber joined Irish province Leinster, while former Ireland fullback Felix Jones has also left his coaching role with the Boks to take a job with England.

That meant there were two vacancies amongst the Boks' backroom staff, and according to Rapport, ex-Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery is in line to be appointed as the current world champions' defence coach, the role Nienaber occupied prior to his departure.

Flannery is currently defence coach with Harlequins - who currently lie second in the Gallagher Premiership with the second-best rated defence - and previously worked under Erasmus at Munster in 2016/17.

Brown is no stranger to South Africa. As a player, he represented both the Sharks and Stormers at Super Rugby level before he retired and started his coaching career.

Since then he has earned a reputation as an innovative attack coach, and he could bring a different dimension to the Springboks' attacking play if he is appointed to their coaching staff.

The All Blacks are set to play the Springboks twice in, with the two Tests set to take place in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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