Thu, 24 Sep 2020

Cheetahs kicking, skills guru to assist Italy

20 Jan 2020, 22:13 GMT+10

Cape Town - Albert Keuris, the Cheetahs' kicking and skills coach, will assist the Italian national side this week (January 20-28) as they prepare for the Six Nations.

Keuris was drafted in as a consultant by former Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, who is currently Italy's interim head coach.

Keuris has a sound coaching pedigree, having worked with the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup, Super Rugby and PRO14 competitions. He was also the kicking coach of Shimlas when they won the 2015 Varsity Cup.

Under Keuris' guidance, the Cheetahs had an 81% kicking accuracy in the 2016 Super Rugby competition and 82% en route to winning the Currie Cup that year.

In 2017's Super Rugby edition, he worked with two of the top three kickers in the competition - Niel Marais (89%) and Fred Zeilinga (85%).

In the 2017/18 PRO14 season, Zeilinga won the Golden Boot (85% accuracy), which was the best statistic in a decade of PRO Rugby, with two other players also in the Top 10 with 83% accuracy.

With Keuris at the helm, the Cheetahs boasted the second highest kicking success in the 2018 Currie Cup and Tian Schoeman slotted the most conversions in the 2018/19 PRO14 season.

In 2019, the Free State Cheetahs won the Currie Cup with a kicking rate of 80%.

Italy open their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on February 1.

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