Rassie Erasmus has been appointed as the Springboks’ new head coach, announced the South African Rugby Union on Thursday.
Allister Coetzee sacked
The-45-year-old former Boks flanker takes over South Africa’s coaching duties from Allister Coetzee, who was in charge of the team during the past two years and was sacked in early February.
Erasmus signed a five-year contract to the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France and is expected to improve the recent results of the Boks.
Jacques Nienaber, Pieter de Villiers and Mzwandile Stick will assist Erasmus, while Aled Walters will join the management team 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) 1 March 2018
In-depth selection process
According to SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux, the changes to the South African national rugby union team’s management are the result of a thorough review process.
“The Springbok team is our flagship brand and the on-field performances have a direct impact on the business of SA Rugby,” said Roux.
“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.”
ICYMI: New @Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus explains how he and his management team plan to take the team forward from now up until the 2023 Rugby World Cup.— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) 1 March 2018
Full interview here >> https://t.co/TmzBEWKt5L pic.twitter.com/9MoyjwFSmb
Erasmus: “I am very privileged”
Erasmus, who had been acting as director of Rugby in South Africa since 2017, described his appointment as a honour.
“It is a huge task to coach the Springboks and I am very privileged,” said Erasmus.
“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.”