Jacques Nienaber: Springboks are a ‘performance platform’ where winning comes first

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Jacques Nienaber has said that the Springboks are “a performance platform” focused on winning only, with South Africa ‘A’ seen as development grounds for blooding new players.

The world’s number one side has placed a big emphasis on maintaining winning as a habit since their triumph at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and this is not going to change anytime soon.

Winning is essential

The 49-year-old insists that playing for the Springboks means playing to win and to make the country proud, something he will not compromise on.

“When you represent your country or the Springboks, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind,” Nienaber said during a virtual media session.

“SA ‘A’ games, are maybe for ‘development’.

“The Springboks are for ‘performance’. It is a performance platform,” he stated unequivocally.

“You are representing your country. You are representing a brand that has been there for years, for hundreds of years.

“I don’t think that is necessarily the platform to develop.

“SA ‘A’ games are a great platform to develop.”

Nienaber believes in earning the right to rotate and blood newer players through results. The other factor is how injuries impact the Springboks as circumstances can force his hand.

“If results go your way or there are injuries, there might be opportunities within the Springboks to give players exposure to top international games,” he said.

“The key is always, when you represent your country, when you represent the Springboks, you want to win.

“That is why we play for the Springboks, to make the country proud.”

The physiotherapist-turned-coach has a plan for the year in terms of development but is also prepared to adapt to whatever circumstances are thrown his way.

“There are SA ‘A’ games lined up for the end-of-year tour, where we can be a little bit creative and start introducing younger guys,” added Nienaber.

“We obviously have a nice plan out for the whole year, where we can start introducing some younger guys and introduce them to top high-performance environments of Test matches.

“But that would be dependent on our results and that would be dependent on injuries.

“Our plan might be to play a player in the SA ‘A’ game on the end-of-year tour, but if we pick up a few injuries he may be starting a Test as soon as the first test match against Wales.

“Yes, we do have a plan for 2022, but that plan changes quickly based on results and injuries.”

READ MORE: The Rugby Championship: Organisers trade home and away fixtures for mini-tour structure

The article Jacques Nienaber: Springboks are a ‘performance platform’ where winning comes first appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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