“If I asked you guys [the media] if you think we’re going to use the maul on Saturday you probably will agree that we will,” said Nienaber.
“And did you spy on us? No, it’s just because you know us.
“So, I don’t understand the spying thing at all. Through proper analysis you’ve got a pretty good idea what’s coming your way.”
Some coaches have publicly raised concerns that filming of training sessions was a risk. Nienaber said he didn’t understand the need.
“I’m just going to use Scotland as an example, because myself and Rassie [Erasmus] have coached against Gregor [Townsend, Scotland coach] since 2016 when he was at Glasgow, and we were at Munster.
“We drew them in Europe as well, so we played them four times in one year! So obviously coaching against Gregor, and the style of coaching that he uses and the style of play that he uses, we’ve known pretty much from 2016. You pretty much get used to what to expect.
“I think with proper analysis you’ve got an incredibly good idea of what you’re going to face on a Saturday. Yes, there might be a five to ten percent change or something new that you bring in, but I don’t understand the spying thing.”
Nienaber pointed out that if South Africa believed in the value of secrecy the team would not be named earlier than any other nation in the world – two days before the required deadline.
“I think we’re as transparent as we can be from our perspective,” he said.
“I mean, we announce our team very early in the week, so we get it out the way. We would probably like to announce it on a Monday if we could but unfortunately my personal work programme on a Monday from a rugby perspective is just too busy.
“It just suits us better from an administrative point of view to announce our team then. And then I think if you look at Chasing the Sun [documentary of the last Rugby World Cup] I don’t think there’s people who wouldn’t know how we operate within the Springbok environment.
“Locally we had the Inside the Boks behind the scenes documentary where we go into depth on how we manage our players. I’m not saying other teams think like that, I’m just giving you my perception on it. I think with all the analysis technology that’s available these days and you do your work why would you need to do anything else?”