Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
16 Aug 2017
3:08 pm

The Springboks’ juggler wants to leave his mark at all levels

Rudolph Jacobs

It's not easy being backline guru Franco Smith, who also acts as the Cheetahs director of rugby. But he wouldn't have it any other way.

Springboks assistant coach Franco Smith has two big jobs. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images.

How exactly does Springboks backline coach Franco Smith manage keep head above water by doubling up as director of rugby at the Cheetahs, especially with a maiden campaign in the Pro14 looming large?

It’s not easy, Smith admits, but he loves it.

Also read: Springboks: Beating the Pumas is like eating an elephant

“It’s a little bit different sitting in the director’s chair, but it’s also a good opportunity. I always wanted an opportunity to influence Cheetahs rugby in such a way that I can work with players from all levels,” he said.

“I actually started at Grey College as a Director of Coaching for six or seven months and then went into Shimlas and build it up.”

But, importantly he is ploughing back his know-how gathered from the Springboks into Bloemfontein’s wealth of potential stars of tomorrow.

“When I started at the Cheetahs it was difficult to maintain that high standards at the lower ranks. This is an opportunity to work with all the coaches and develop a brand and the skills levels needed of the players.

“And with the experience I’m gaining at the Springboks, it’s a great privilege. It’s a great opportunity even though my days are full.

“But I wouldn’t have it different. I believe I’m gaining a lot of experience on the one hand and apply that at all youth levels. The Cheetahs brand has been established the last two years. Now we can create the players to play that brand,” he said.

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