South African Alan-Basson Zondagh joins Scotland rugby coaching team

SCOTLAND have added South African Alan-Basson [AB] Zondagh to Gregor Townsend’s coaching team, according to reports in the French media.

The 35-year-old – whose playing career was cut short by a surfing accident – has been a skills coach with current French Top 14 champions Toulouse since 2019, having previously spent 12 years working in Super Rugby with Natal Sharks, and appears to be a like-for-like replacement for Mike Blair, who left the national set-up to take over as head coach at Edinburgh last month.

He guided the Toulouse academy squad to the French Espoirs title earlier this year.

Although not yet confirmed by Scottish Rugby, Zondagh informed the Toulouse squad of the move after Friday night’s match against Toulon, and the news was made public on social media where players have expressed their good wishes. 

Arthur Bonneval said: “We’ll miss you!”, Thomas Ramos stated: “Thank you coach! Good luck my friend”, and Antoine Dupont added: “Thank you for everything”.  In response, Zondagh said: “I’ll miss you. You’re formidable athletes, but above all formidable human beings!”.

Zondagh’s knowledge of South African rugby will be particularly useful to Scotland during the next couple of years because they will play the Springboks in November as part of the Autumn Nations Series and face them again in the pool stages of the 2023 World Cup in France.

Zondagh earned his coaching spurs under the tutelage of his father, Alan, whose long career took in stints working with Western Province, London Scottish, Saracens and the Bulls.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992