Springboks

'Director' Rassie happy with Junior Boks

2018-06-18 15:30
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus, in his Director of Rugby role, is pleased with what he saw from the Junior Boks in France.

READ: Junior Boks had 'a great experience'

Erasmus is in the unique position of being both coach of the Boks as well as Director of South African rugby, and in the latter role he has the responsibility of overseeing all of the country's national sides across all age groups. 

While he has had his hands full with the Boks in their current series endeavours against Eddie Jones' England, Erasmus confirmed on Monday that he had watched all of the Junior Boks games at the recently-completed World Rugby U20 Championship. 

The Junior Boks finished third in the tournament after staging an impressive second half comeback against New Zealand on Sunday when they overturned a 25-14 half-time deficit to win 40-30 and secure bronze. 

Erasmus is contracted as Director of Rugby until 2023, and many of the juniors who featured in this tournament will be expected to play in that year's senior showpiece in France. 

For that reason, Erasmus must keep a close eye on what happens in the youth ranks. 

"It's great that they beat the Baby Blacks and it's good that they beat England on their (pre-tournament) tour," Erasmus said.

The Junior Boks lost in the semi-finals to England (32-31) and in the pool stages to France (46-29), but Erasmus had his own take on what happened.

"They got shocked by the French intensity, but they came back in the second half," he said.

"I know that the word is out there that they were really conservative in the semi-final, but then again if you talk to them about those conditions and how windy it was then it makes more sense when you listen to what they were trying to do.

"They showed us last night (in the New Zealand match) when they play with freedom what they can do.

"it's not nice to be third, but at least the Baby Blacks also have a lot to work on.

"There are some positive signs there and some great players … a good future for South African rugby."

The Boks, meanwhile, are in Cape Town this week preparing for Saturday's third and final Test against England.

Kick-off is at 17:05.

 

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