New defence coach Jerry Flannery spent time with the Springboks last year

New defence coach Jerry Flannery spent time with the Springboks last year

Former Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber is confident new defence coach Jerry Flannery will be a great fit for the team, as he revealed the plan has been in the works for some time.

Harlequins assistant coach Flannery was confirmed as South Africa's new defence coach by Rassie Erasmus last week, but it seems the Irishman was hand-picked as Nienaber's replacement at some point last year.

Flannery is no stranger to Erasmus and Nienaber, having worked with the duo when they were coaching Munster in 2017, and Nienaber also revealed that he already spent time with the Boks during their recent Rugby World Cup preparations.

"I coached with him when we were at Munster," Nienaber told the Irish Independent. "He would be very familiar with the way that Rassie would do stuff, because it will be very similar to how we did things when we were at Munster.

â‹"Jerry actually spent some time with us in the World Cup preparation. He was there a week or two with the Boks. He understands how the environment operates and the players would know him.

"They met him for the week or two that he has been there. He won't be unfamiliar to them. He actually helped us a little bit with the hookers. He added value with the lineout throws, him being an international hooker himself.

"Just adding things that he saw and I'm not saying it took over from there and all that, but it just added value. It's a good opportunity for Jerry and I think he will be good for the Boks. I think both of those appointments, him and (attack coach) Tony Brown, are excellent appointments. They will add value to the team.

"When we did our club visits of the abroad players, Harlequins was one of the clubs that we visited. They were always open to us being there, so watching their training sessions, gym sessions, being in their team meetings."

In exiting Quins, Flannery thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to test himself in international rugby and reuinite with his old colleague Erasmus.

"The opportunity to move into international rugby and to work alongside Rassie Erasmus again after our time at Munster was very appealing and I would like to thank Harlequins for supporting my desire to take up this opportunity to develop my career," he said.

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