Nienaber won't help Div
Stephen Nell and Hendrik Cronjé
Jacques Nienaber (Gallo Images)
Cape Town and Bloemfontein – Western Province will not release defence coach Jacques Nienaber to assist the Springboks during the Tri-Nations.
Rob Wagner, managing director of WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, told Sport24 on Wednesday that Nienaber had to focus on his job in the Cape.
“Jacques met with Peter de Villiers to explore whether there is a way for him to help the Boks in the future. He then reported back to us,” said Wagner.
“We are at a crucial stage of the Currie Cup and it will unfortunately infringe on his duties here. We therefore can’t see our way clear to releasing him.”
Wagner added that even part-time work with the Boks would be “too difficult to fit in” for Nienaber.
“He plays a big role in all our teams,” said Wagner.
Nienaber is contracted with WP until 2012.
WP director of coaching Rassie Erasmus confirmed to Sport24 that the disruption would be too big.
“We considered it, but it will be difficult. The notice was too short and it will be disruptive in the middle of a competition,” said Erasmus.
Erasmus and Nienaber have come a long way and their association has included winning the Currie Cup at Free State in 2005 and 2006.
Erasmus was the head coach then and Nienaber a qualified physiotherapist helped with Free State’s defensive system.
Province have conceded only six tries in the Currie Cup, followed by Free State (11), the Sharks (12), Lions (14), Blue Bulls (15), Griquas (21), Leopards (27) and Pumas (28). The Stormers conceded 18 tries in 15 games – the least by any Super 14 side in 2010.
The Springboks, by contrast, have been conceding lots of tries in the Tri-Nations. They have already conceded 10 tries in three Tests.
Nienaber had a lengthy discussion with Bok assistant coach Gary Gold about South Africa’s defensive pattern during his visit to the camp on Tuesday.
South Africa play against the All Blacks at FNB Stadium on August 21.