Brian Mujati should be given another opportunity at tighthead prop in the South African rugby team, says former assistant Springbok coach Gert Smal.
Stephen Nell writes for Die Burger.
“Brian is a player for the future and combinations should be given an opportunity to become a solid unit. The more Test rugby Brian plays, the better he will become,” the former Springbok loose forward said here on Monday.
The Springboks, who face Wales in the second Test in Pretoria on Saturday, beat the Six Nations champions 43-17 in Bloemfontein last weekend. However, they were made to struggle in the front row and Test debutant Mujati was criticised for his performance.
“It was his first Test at tighthead,” said Smal, who coached the Springbok forwards during their successful World Cup campaign last year.
“There were also many stories in the news media about his father. I don’t know whether that might have had an influence.
“There may be one or two technical things that the Springboks can work on in the scrum but if you want to build combinations you must let the guys play together.
“To see how good someone is, you should let him play three or four matches,” Smal added.
Smal praised new national coach Peter de Villiers’s team for their performance in Bloemfontein.
“They played well, even though they had little time to prepare. This is good for SA rugby. It is important that they we maintain the World Cup momentum.”
Smal confirmed that he was weighing some coaching options. “There are opportunities for me in Ireland and France. It would be ideal to be a head coach again but I will consider a position as assistant coach of a top team.”
It was reported last weekend that Smal was a candidate for a job as assistant coach of the Irish team.
Smal had been interested in applying his knowledge in the Eastern Cape but submissions to SA Rugby’s managing director Jonathan Stones and SA Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins came to nothing.
“I had six months during which I could have done a lot in the Eastern Cape,” Smal said. “It seems as if politics are regarded as more important than rugby.
“I know a lot of things are happening but rugby does not have to stand still.”
Stones confirmed on Monday, through Saru’s communications chief Andy Colquhoun, that Smal had made a submission to him.
“Gert wanted a reply too soon. We were unable to meet his request in time,” Colquhoun said.
Smal said chances were good that he would move to the northern hemisphere soon but he hoped to apply his knowledge to SA rugby again in the future.Tweet