SA Rugby on Tuesday confirmed that Rassie Erasmus will return as the Springboks’ head coach following Jacques Nienaber’s departure to Leinster.
Erasmus, who was the mastermind of the Springboks’ back-to-back Rugby World Cup wins, will lead the technical team which will include assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids, Daan Human, former All Blacks flyhalf Tony Brown and ex-Ireland international Jerry Flannery, as reported by IOL Sport last week.
Andy Edwards will join the team as Head of Athletic Performance while recently retired Duane Vermeulen has also been appointed to a roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams. Jaco Peyper, who recently announced his retirement from refereeing, joins the team as National Laws Advisor
“It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me,” said Erasmus, currently recovering after a freak accident landed him in hospital last week.
“The main difference between the last four years and this season is that I will be more hands-on at the field sessions.
“In my role as Director of Rugby in the last four years I continued to oversee the team structures and strategy in conjunction with Jacques and the other coaches, so it should be an easy transition back into the head coach role.
“We already had our first coaching session this week at the hospital, and it’s great to see the enthusiasm among the coaches to get the season underway.”
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander added: “We are delighted to announce that Rassie Erasmus will take over the reins as the Springbok head coach once again following his success with the team since 2018, and we believe that with the continuity in the coaching structures and the exciting additions, we are in good hands in the ultimate objective of claiming a hat-trick of World Cup titles.
“Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery are both former international players and bring fantastic coaching experience, and their skills will complement Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids, and Daan Human.
“It is also a huge coup to have a world class referee in Jaco Peyper as a member of the management team and to retain his expertise in South African Rugby, as understanding the referees and their analysis of the laws is critical to any team’s success.
“We are excited about this Springbok coaching team, and we’ll be thrilled to see how the double World Champions perform once they return to the field for the first time since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in France last year.”
On Vermeulen’s appointment, Alexander said, “Duane has tremendous experience as a player and will take that IP into the coaching teams of our other national teams to give them an insight into what it takes to be a champion team.
“It also allows us to extend our own coaching base from within the ranks of the Springboks with an eye to the future.”