Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will step down as the national coach at the conclusion of the team’s Rugby World Cup campaign in France. He will then take up a position in Leinster’s coaching ranks in Ireland next year. SA Rugby confirmed in a statement.

Nienaber cited personal reasons for the decision. But he added that his focus remained on the major task of the year, which was to give everything in the Springboks’ defence of their Rugby World Cup title.


“The last few years have been the highlight of my coaching career. It’s with a heavy heart that I’m finishing up my time with the Springboks and leaving the country for personal reasons,” announced Nienaber.

“The decision is made and that’s firmly behind me now. My sole focus is on seeing the Springboks defend the Rugby World Cup title this year. I will continue to channel all my energy into ensuring that we leave no stone unturned to achieve that.”


“Jacques was very open with us about the reasons for wanting to leave South Africa at the end of the season,” said SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer. 

“We will confirm a successor in the title role of Springbok coach in due course. But Rassie Erasmus’ services are locked in to the end of 2025 at the very least.”

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will step down as the national coach
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will step down as the national coach

Nienaber has served several roles within the South African rugby structures. This includes as a Springbok assistant coach at the 2011 and also 2019 Rugby World Cup’s. This was before stepping into the head coaching role in 2020.

Also read: Springboks schedule ahead of Rugby World Cup

The Springboks kick off the international season against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, 8 July, in the opening round of the shortened Castle Lager Rugby Championship. It will be followed by clashes against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later. Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July, their final match on home soil for the year.

The Boks will then make the journey to Buenos Aires in August to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the international showpiece in France.

They will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille. It will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux [17 September], Ireland in Paris [23 September] and Tonga in Marseille [1 October].


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