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SA Rugby on the verge of key Bok coaching announcements

Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery reported to be on the wishlist

Tony Brown (left) was assistant coach to Jamie Joseph when the Highlanders marched to the Super Rugby title in 2014. Here they are at King's Park for the clash against the Sharks that year. File image
Tony Brown (left) was assistant coach to Jamie Joseph when the Highlanders marched to the Super Rugby title in 2014. Here they are at King's Park for the clash against the Sharks that year. File image
Image: Steve Haag (Gallo Images)

Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery are heavily tipped to replace Jacques Nienaber and Felix Jones in the Springbok set-up.

SA Rugby is expected to make an announcement in the coming days confirming the pair's commitment to the Bok cause over the next few years.

The addition of the pair continues the coaching shake-up across the Rugby Championship. Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will again front as Springbok head coach, this time on an interim basis, Kiwi Joe Schmidt has joined the Wallabies, Scott Robertson takes command of the All Blacks, while Felipe Contepomi will lead Los Pumas' charge.

Brown, a former All Blacks flyhalf between 1999 and 2001, is an Otago stalwart who had a season each with the Sharks and the Stormers in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

His addition to the Bok group will give New Zealand a strong coaching footprint in the Rugby Championship.

With the Springboks playing the All Blacks twice at home in the Rugby Championship, Brown's input could prove invaluable. He has gained coaching experience at the Sanyo Wild Knights, Otago, the Sunwolves, the Highlanders and Japan. As an attack coach he is held in high regard and it is likely he would join the Boks in a similar capacity.

Flannery is a former Ireland hooker who has developed strong coaching credentials in his time at Munster and more recently Harlequins.

He has been earmarked as a defence coach with the Boks, a portfolio vacated by former head coach Nienaber, one of the game's pre-eminent defensive plotters.

Flannery worked as scrum coach under Erasmus at Munster in 2016 and 2017 before graduating to the job of forwards coach.

The Irishman has taken charge of Harlequins' defence and they now boast the second-tightest defence in the Premiership. He has been at the club since 2020 and helped them to the Premiership title the next year.

He also has experience as a strength and conditioning coach, albeit in a different sport while on a work placement with English Premiership team Arsenal.


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