Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick will lead the South Africa A team on their November tour of the United Kingdom, with the full support of national team captain Siya Kolisi.
The world champions will embark on their final tour at the end of the month, with 54 players split between the Springboks and the SA A team. The team will play two midweek games, one against Munster on November 10 and one against Bristol Bears on November 17.
He’s already had the benefit of coaching a so-called Springbok Green side, which faced off against a larger squad of players in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He’s also back with the Boks for the second time.
“Everyone in South Africa who is involved in rugby in any capacity dreams of working with or playing for the Springboks,” Stick said.
“I would gladly accept the opportunity to coach the Springboks, but the job at hand is to prepare the A squad to fill a Bok gap if one arises.”
A further 20 South African A players will travel to Ireland a week later, on Saturday, 5 November, to begin preparations for the match against Munster, where they will be joined by a few players from the initial 34-man touring squad for the two SA A matches.
“I’m overjoyed and grateful to have been given this opportunity. It’s a big deal for me, and I have to thank my coworkers “Stick stated.
“Something else that makes me happy is the opportunity provided to the other coaches with whom I’ll be working – Bafana Nhleko and Joey Mongalo.
“I played and coached against Joey at junior levels, but I’m glad they’ve also had the opportunity to work at this level.”
Stick, who coaches the Springboks, was anecdotal in his praise for the man who used to drive him around in his black VW when he first arrived in Stellenbosch years ago.
Kolisi said, “I’ve known him since I was a water boy for the African Bombers (in Gqeberha) and I used to watch him play for Springrose.”
“He’s someone I’ve admired since I was a child. When I was 19, I moved in with him in Stellenbosch, and he has always taken care of me. He used to chauffeur me around in his black Golf 5 and show me the sights.
“He’s always been there to help because we come from the same community. For us to listen to someone who’s played the game makes it a little easier because he speaks from the experience of having been a player.”
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn to get the latest updates from Cape Town Tribune