Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


Springbok players buying into new attacking philosophy — Tony Brown

The new Bok assistant coach is confident that the Springboks are moving in the right direction and will execute during the two-Test series against the Irish.


The Springboks are buying into a new attacking philosophy which is exciting, says new attack coach Tony Brown, as they prepare to unleash it in the first Test of the Incoming Series against Ireland at Loftus on Saturday evening (kick-off 5pm).

New Zealander Brown was one of two major additions to Rassie Erasmus’ coaching staff earlier this year, along with Irish defence coach Jerry Flannery, and he is tasked with evolving the Boks attacking game while ensuring they keep to their core strengths.

“South Africa has never been an easy team to play against and they have always been difficult to coach against. They have always had a style of play that is very hard to stop,” explained Brown.

“It’s based around physicality, and being dominant in the set piece. So where we can go with our attack, I think we can do some amazing things, if we keep that physicality and domination and try to evolve around attacking a space a bit more often.

“We need to get the players to understand how we create that space and what we require to be able to attack it.”

Busy month

It has thus been a busy month for some of the players, while others only joined the squad recently, but Brown is confident that they are moving in the right direction and will be able to execute during the massive two-Test series against the Irish.

“The players have been amazing. We haven’t had everyone for a long period of time but the full squad got into camp last week and it has just been about getting them to understand what we can create and what we can do if we get things right,” said Brown.

“The players have really bought into what we are trying to do and now it is my challenge to push them as far as I can and challenge them to be better rugby players. I am the attack coach so I want them to be the best attacking players in the world.”

The Boks did show off some of their new attacking flair in their opening game of the season against Wales at Twickenham two weeks ago, and despite making a number of mistakes in the game Brown was pleased with what he saw, which they can now build on over the rest of the season.

“Against Wales we did some amazing things and we scored some pretty good tries. The boys have been outstanding in working on their skillset and seeing those pictures and being able to execute under pressure,” said Brown.

“Like anything in the game of rugby, if you are pushing the players to be better all the time there are going to be mistakes. But over time we are hoping to negate the mistakes and have better execution and decision making.”

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