Sunday 24 September 2017

Do-or-die for Springboks

South Africa's backs coach Dick Muir admits the Springboks management team could face the axe if they lose to England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The reigning world champions finished bottom of the Tri-Nations table and their 21-17 defeat to Scotland last week has ramped up the pressure.

Muir insisted South Africa have to approach the England game as an opportunity to right the wrongs of Murrayfield -- but he knows what to expect if it goes badly.

"Our public back home epitomise what it is about. It is ruthless," said Muir. "They expect you to come over here and get the win and if you don't get the result then there are going to be heads that are going to roll."

The English Rugby Football Union consistently backed Martin Johnson and his coaching team to remain in place through to the 2011 World Cup, even when things were not so rosy in the English garden.

But even with the defence of their title less than a year away, the Springboks have to work in a very different environment.

"In South Africa it is probably a bit more volatile than it is here," Muir added. "(In that environment) you have to believe in yourself, you have got to believe in your management team and your bosses.

"You have got to have a shared vision and hang in there in the tough times. From a coaching perspective you know most coaches end up getting fired, so if you trust what you are about you can achieve what you ultimately set out to achieve."

Irish Independent

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