Johannesburg - Neil Powell has been appointed as the new coach for the Springbok Sevens team, succeeding Paul Treu, the SA Rugby Union (Saru) announced on Saturday.
Powell, a former team captain, will take charge for the first time at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia next weekend.
“Following his retirement as an active player in 2012, we took Neil into our structures with a view to developing him as a coach of the future,” Saru CEO Jurie Roux said in a statement.
He will be assisted by his former teammate, Vuyo Zangqa, who was appointed as assistant coach.
Powell and Zangqa were part of the Springbok Sevens squad which won the HSBC Sevens World Series in the 2008/09 season.
Powell also represented The Sharks, Bulls, Cats and Toyota Cheetahs in the Super Rugby competition and the GWK Griquas, Blue Bulls and Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup.
He played for South Africa in 32 tournaments on the HSBC Sevens World Series and was also a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist (2010).
Zangqa, 32, a former Border Bulldogs and Leopards representative, played in 19 tournaments of the HSBC series.
“Neil was a vastly experienced player and is very familiar with the HSBC Sevens World Series.
“They (Powell and Zangqa) make their debut in Australia next week and we're looking forward to their contribution to the growth of our Sevens programme.”
The appointments were confirmed at a meeting of the Executive Council in Johannesburg, which ratified the recommendation of the technical committee.
The Council also confirmed the appointment of former national player, Renfred Dazel, as the Springbok Women's Sevens coach. He replaces Denver Wannies.
The team departs for Australia on Monday.