CAPE TOWN – He’s just led the Golden Lions Under-21 team to the national title, and now Bafana Nhleko has been rewarded for his success.
SA Rugby announced on Monday that Nhleko will become the permanent assistant coach at the Junior Springboks for the next four years.
Nhleko, 35, was part of the SA Under-20 set-up this year while also being part of the Lions coaching structure, with the Junior Boks finishing third in the World Under-20 tournament in France.
The Lions Under-21 side beat the Blue Bulls 58-24 in the final at Newlands at the weekend, which comes on the back of the 2016 championship triumph.
“Bafana is a quality coach, who is respected by his peers and the players, and we are pleased that he has joined SA Rugby’s coaching ranks,” Saru director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said in a statement.
“His success at the Golden Lions shows the calibre of coach he is, and we believe he will add immense value to our junior coaching structures.
“The Junior Springboks’ results in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship served as testament to the formidable coaching team he formed with head coach Chean Roux, and we look forward to seeing them work closely together once again in the lead-up to the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Argentina.”
Nhleko was in charge of the Lions senior team that reached the Rugby Challenge semi-finals last year, and in the Currie Cup qualifiers in 2016.