Springboks Coach reveals why he rejected “other international” approaches to join Leinster

 Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has explained the reasoning behind his move to Leinster and why he turned down other international offers.

Tuesday marked Nienaber’s first press conference in Leinster blue as he gave an explanation of his decision to rejoin Leinster and leave the Springboks after returning to Ireland.

After leading the Springboks to victory in the World Cup, he joined the Irish Province. In the playoffs, South Africa defeated England, France, and New Zealand by a single point each to win the championship for the fourth time.

Even though the All Blacks final was just six weeks ago, Nienaber has already consigned it to the past as he prepares for his upcoming task.

“No, it’s disappeared! When questioned about his thoughts on the World Cup, he responded, “Water under the bridge.”

“You cannot alter the past; it is what it is. And beyond that, beyond that. Maybe you’ll look back on the memories later when you’re older, but now it’s over.

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Family first

After being elevated from the position of defense coach, Nienaber succeeded longtime friend Rassie Erasmus as head coach of the Springboks in 2020.

Before winning the World Cup again, he led the team to victory in the British and Irish Lions Test Series. After spending six years with the Boks, Nienaber felt that he needed a vacation from Test rugby despite his accomplishments at the international level as a head coach and defensive player.

I simply thought I had spent too much time apart from my family. Nienaber clarified, “For this reason, the decision was made in January or February.

“Listen, I don’t think we can handle this for another four years,” my wife replied. The kids said, “Dad, we need you at home,” so I was anxious when the chance to work with Leinster arose again because I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to be challenged on the cutting edge. You seem like an excellent coach, therefore I didn’t want to loose that.

“That’s why this job was a great fit for me; I’ll have a lot of challenges as a coach. Big expectations are in store, but at least I get to spend time with my family.”

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International interest

After discussing his choice with Erasmus and the South African Rugby Union, Nienaber received their approval when he was given the chance to join Leinster.

He stated, “They were pleased with it.” They granted me permission, and we seized the chance to make the announcement as soon as it presented itself because I had never considered leaving South Africa as a place of employment.

There were further offers from foreigners. It wasn’t my place to adapt, relocate, or head north. That was not at all what it was. All I wanted to do was get away from international rugby. That was the cause.

“Closest you will get to Test match”

This weekend, Leinster and La Rochelle will play their first Champions Cup match, a rematch of the French team’s 27-26 victory in the previous year’s championship game.

Anticipating the commencement of the upcoming Champions Cup season, Nienaber feels that club rugby represents the closest thing to international rugby.

He said, “It’s likely the closest you will ever get to a Test match—the Heineken Cup.”

“I don’t think Super Rugby and Test match rugby are that similar. That’s the thing, then, for me.

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