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Springbok coach Felix Jones explains traffic light system

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday Sep 12, 2023

Reigning Rugby World Cup champions South Africa got their 2023 campaign underway with a solid 18 – 3 victory over Scotland on Sunday.

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Employing a deadly effective defensive game plan with a sprinkling of individual brilliance, the Boks comprehensively saw off the Scots, who came into the fixture in red-hot form.

Whilst the Boks World Cup credentials are much publicised, their ability to continually innovate is perhaps one of the most underrated aspects of their set-up.

Leading the charge in this department are head coach Jacques Nienaber and Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, who masterminded the Boks’ successful 2019 World Cup campaign.

Although it may not always be everyone’s cup of tea, there can be no doubt that the Boks push the envelope in terms of trying to maximise their advantage.

In the latest winding road of Bok inventions, keen-eyed observers were quick to pick up on a traffic light system they employed in Bordeaux.

Many have speculated as to the thought process behind the system; in response, both Nienaber and now assistant coach Felix Jones have explained the thought process behind it.

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Speaking to the media today, Jones said, “Sometimes in certain games or if the stadium is particularly loud. Having a method that we can communicate mostly with the medical staff on the ground.

“And it is something we actually used with our previous club, Munster. Whereby, and I know Jacques has already explained it, a red might be where a player needs to come off a traffic light system. It is just our feeling on whether that player is ok to keep on or if we are planning on replacing him in any case.

“So it is basically to increase communication with the medical staff, in particular in situations where it is loud.”

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