Rassie Erasmus has been appointed to lead a new-look Springboks management team, South Africa Rugby has confirmed.
SA Rugby sacked head coach Allister Coetzee last month and Erasmus was widely expected to replace him.
Erasmus ended a short spell with Munster to return to his homeland as director of rugby for the national body late last year and will combine that role with coaching the Springboks until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Jacques Nienaber, Pieter de Villiers and Mzwandile Stick will be the 45-year-old’s assistant coaches, while Aled Walters comes in as head of athletic performance.
BREAKING! Rassie Erasmus will spearhead a streamlined but experienced Springbok management team until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup and will combine his Springbok coaching duties with his current role as Director of Rugby at SA Rugby. pic.twitter.com/rMCc7dPPL5
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) March 1, 2018
Erasmus won 36 Test caps for South Africa and is relishing the prospect of coaching his country.
“It is a huge task to coach the Springboks and I am very privileged,” said the former flanker.
“I really believe we have the players and the rugby IP [intellectual property] to turn things around and to mount a serious challenge at next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“We have 18 Tests and just under 600 days until Japan 2019 and although a lot of planning has already gone into our Rugby World Cup preparation, it is very important that we prepare thoroughly for the matches against Wales and England in June.”
The Springboks won only 11 of Coetzee’s 25 games in charge and SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux is optimistic Erasmus and his team can inspire a resurgence.
“The Springbok team is our flagship brand and the on-field performances have a direct impact on the business of SA Rugby,” Roux said.
“Following a very detailed review process of the 2017 season, I believe that we have managed to assemble a strong and experienced Springbok coaching and management staff. We are looking forward to see improved performances this season.”
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