Former junior Boks Erik Sauls dies

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Former junior Boks Erik Sauls dies

The World Cup-winning Baby Boks were one of the SA age-group teams that Eric Sauls coached. He passed away on Thursday afternoon.

When he led the Baby Boks to the SANZAR/UAR Under-21 championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the 1999 competition, the highly regarded rugby coach achieved history. It was the first time South Africa had triumphed in a World Cup-level age-group competition.

In addition to the Baby Boks, Sauls was the head coach of a number of national junior teams, including the SA Schools, SA Under-19, and SA Under-21. Some of these teams were led by people like Corné Krige, Bobby Skinstad, and John Smit, who eventually went on to captain the Springboks.

Jake White, who subsequently became a World Cup-winning coach, assisted Sauls on occasion or served as a technical adviser to the teams he managed.

Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter, who had a sharp rugby brain and a reputation as an imaginative coach, boldly declared in 2008 that Sauls should be the next Springbok coach.

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