Jacques Nienaber reveals the secret to South Africa’s incredible success
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Jacques Nienaber may have swapped the Springboks for Leinster, but the former head coach has left a lasting impression on one of rugby’s greatest nations.
Following their latest World Cup victory in France, South Africa are now the only team in the world to have won the prestigious title a record four times, with two of them coming under Nienaber’s tenure with long-time colleague and friend, Rassie Erasmus.
But what is the secret to their success? What makes a Springbok so good?
Speaking on The Good, The Bad, and the Rugby, Nienaber spoke about how captain Siya Kolisi has always remained humble and true to himself through everything.
“Siya I started coaching when he was 19 in the Western Province academy,” Nienaber said.
“Siya hasn’t changed, he never became the title. Siya is Siya Kolisi and then you get Siya the Springbok rugby player and the World Cup-winning captain.
“Siya never became Siya the Springbok World Cup-winning captain, he always stayed Siya.”
And that is what makes a Springbok. That is the secret to their success.
“You ask, what’s the best? What’s the thing I will always remember and cherish the most? It’s that the players never became their titles.,” Nienaber added.
“I’ve been working with Duane Vermeulen since 2006, 17 years we’ve been working together, and Duane just stayed Duane. He stayed the guy that came from the Pumas to the Cheetahs, he always stayed that guy.
“The nice thing is that I saw them when they were young; they were naughty, they weren’t married, and then I saw them get married and become husbands to wives and fathers to kids.
“To see the growth of the players is probably the thing that will sit in my head when I’m old, grey and shaking in front of the fire – I will remember that.”