With praatjies over who will succeed Jacques Nienaber as Springboks head coach, Victor Matfield has tipped two overseas-based SA tacticians for the top job.
The 127-Test-capped Bok legend has thrown the names of former Lions boss Johan Ackermann and ex-Bok assistant Johann van Graan in the hat for once Nienaber quits after the 2023 World Cup.
Ackermann took the Leeus to two Super Rugby finals before taking over at English club Gloucester and currently coaches in Japan.
Victor Matfield came up with a surprising shortlist of names when asked on Tuesday who he would prefer to succeed Jacques Nienaber as head coach of the Springboks. https://t.co/mIv2KEvbZ9— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) April 19, 2023
Van Graan is currently in charge at Bath, after a stint with Irish giants Munster.
Matfield, who also smaaks what Franco Smith is doing at Glasgow Warriors, says: “I think there are three very strong candidates. Johan Ackermann was very successful with the Lions, Franco Smith has done well in a few places and then you have Johann van Graan, who coached Munster and was an assistant coach in many Springbok Tests.
“If I had to choose, it would be between Van Graan and Ackermann.”
Big Vic also defended Van Graan’s coaching style, after he was criticised for Munster’s consistency and style of play during his time at the club, saying: “There is a specific style that works for South African players’ thought processes.”
Bok assistants Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids are believed to be among the frontrunners to replace Nienaber, but ex-winger Bryan Habana told AFP that Stormers coach John Dobson and Bulls boss Jake White are also possible candidates.