Rassie Erasmus: The ‘straightforward’ reason why Nigel Owens is joining the Springboks coaching team
Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that Nigel Owens is on the verge of joining the Springboks and explains why they have moved to add the former referee to the coaching team.
The Springboks director of rugby revealed that the deal would be finalised next week and explained the reasoning behind bringing Owens into his coaching team.
Not shying away from the rumours, Erasmus confirmed that the former referee would make his final decision next week.
“Everyone knows about Nigel. I actually just emailed him. From the outside, he said it’s a goer. From the inside, we’ll know next week,” Erasmus told the Daily Mail.
Why Nigel Owens?
The 2019 Rugby World Cup winning coach explained that the South African voice comes across as ‘attacking or arrogant’. And this was the reason for recruiting Owens and not a local official.
“The reason is straightforward,” he said.
“We could take one of our local refs, but it would be another South African voice. People from the outside think the South African voice is attacking or arrogant. Even the way I talk, sometimes people think it’s aggressive. When you’ve known me a while, you know it’s not aggressive.
“We definitely want to change that view. Prior to those two incidents [Erasmus’ bans], we never had stuff like that. It will take hard work to change. Someone like Nigel might come in and say, ‘These guys are doing it right’ or he might say, ‘Hey guys, you have to change a few things here”. It’s the way he communicates. It’s a real thing we’re trying to fix, not a smokescreen.”
After being banned twice by World Rugby, Erasmus says that Owens coming in would also prevent him from talking himself ‘into a hole again’ as he looks to get on the right side of the officials and the governing body.
“I don’t want to talk myself into a hole again here. We basically felt we have to repair this because, obviously there’s not a great relationship. We want to reset that. It’s a genuine need for us to change.”
“If we get our way, we will have him as soon as possible. We are very aligned in terms of the way world rugby’s going with safety, tackling, head contact. So it’s the perception of whether or not something’s OK when we send it to World Rugby.
“Maybe Nigel could talk to them for us. And then there’s his knowledge in reviews, previews, videos. We want someone to be a full-on management member. It would be great,” he added.
The Springboks kick off their 2023 season against the Wallabies on 8 July, their opening game of the Rugby Championship.
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The article Rassie Erasmus: The ‘straightforward’ reason why Nigel Owens is joining the Springboks coaching team appeared first on Planetrugby.com.