Cape Town - The top brass of SA Rugby should also get credit for the Springboks' turnaround in fortunes.
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That is the view of former Stormers coach Robbie Fleck, who spoke to Netwerk24.
The Springboks, under the coaching tutelage of Rassie Erasmus, bagged a third Rugby World Cup title in 2019 when they beat England 32-12 in the final in Yokohama.
It was a remarkable turnaround under Erasmus, who took over in 2018 with the team in dire straits.
Just the previous year the Boks had slumped to their lowest-ever ranking of No 7.
"For me, the steadfast support that Rassie got from the president (Mark Alexander) and chief executive (Jurie Roux) was a determining factor. In the first instance, it was about rugby. There was no talk about how good the performances were. There were no talks of transformation targets. There was no debate whether overseas players should be picked. They simply said: 'We support you'.
"I think they (Roux and Alexander) played a critical role in the success. SARU and its board deserve praise," Fleck said.
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Fleck noted that Erasmus' record in his first season in charge in 2018 was not overly impressive, with only a 50% win record (seven wins and seven losses).
But he lauded SA Rugby bosses for sticking with Erasmus.
Fleck, who was Stormers head coach between 2016 and 2019, recently parted ways with WP Rugby after a long affiliation with the Cape-based union.
He also played 31 Tests for the Springboks between 1999 and 2002.
- Compiled by Herman Mostert