Flannery no stranger to Springboks

Flannery worked with Erasmus and Nienaber at Munster.

Rassie Erasmus reportedly lined up newly-appointed Springbok defence coach Jerry Flannery as Jacques Nienaber’s successor before last year’s World Cup.

SA Rugby this week confirmed that Flannery and Tony Brown have been appointed as the Springboks’ new defence and attack coaches respectively, taking over from Nienaber and Felix Jones.

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, Erasmus already knew that he wanted Flannery as the Boks’ new defence coach last year, and got the former Ireland hooker involved in the camp before the World Cup.

The Springboks were able to put plans in place for Nienaber’s succession, as last year he announced that the World Cup would be his final tournament in charge of the team as head coach before it got underway.

Flannery, who worked with Erasmus and Nienaber at Munster, has been serving as a defence and lineout coach at Harlequins.

The Premiership side’s captain, Stephan Lewies, expects it to be a natural fit between Flannery and the Springboks.

“Jerry’s is modeled on Jacques’. They worked together at Munster,” Lewies told Rapport. “Few people know that Jerry already worked with Jacques at the Boks before the World Cup to sharpen himself up.

“If you look at what he brought back from the Boks, you will see that Harlequins’ defense is much better this year.”

This story was first published on sarugbymag.co.za. It is republished here with permission.