SA Rugby have confirmed the appointment of Rassie Erasmus as the Springboks head coach until 2027. He returns to the role for the next four years, following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Leinster.

He has been Director of Rugby for four years now and is credited with back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles of 2019 and 2023. 

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Former Ireland hooker and Harlequins assistant coach Jerry Flannery will take charge of the team’s defence. Former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown will focus on attack.

The duo will complete the Springbok coaching team which consists of Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as Andy Edwards as Head of Athletic Performance, who were key coaching staff in 2023 and whose contracts were extended midway through 2023 until the conclusion of the 2027 World Cup in Australia. Jaco Peyper join the team as National Laws Advisor.

Double RWC-winning Springbok eighthman, Duane Vermeulen, has also been appointed to a roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams. He will become the third member of a mobi-coaching unit, joining forces with existing coaches, Franzel September and Bafana Nhleko.

SA Rugby have confirmed the appointment of Rassie Erasmus as the Springboks head coach
Springboks assistant coach Mzwandile Stick

APPOINTMENT OF RASSIE ERASMUS AS HEAD COACH OF SPRINGBOKS CONFIRMED 

Erasmus, who is recuperating from medical procedures after a freak accident, said he was thankful for the trust placed in him by SA Rugby’s leadership to steer the national team once again. He was equally thrilled about the new appointments.

“It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me,” said Erasmus.

“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. It’s great to see the enthusiasm among the coaches to get the season underway.”

Springbok coaching team:

Rassie Erasmus – Head coach

Mzwandile Stick – Assistant coach

Deon Davids – Assistant coach

Daan Human – Assistant coach

Tony Brown – Assistant coach

Jerry Flannery – Assistant coach

Andy Edwards – Head of Athletic Performance

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus gave the nation good news regarding Siya Kolisi recovery on Wednesday. The pair remain hopeful that the Springbok captain would return to the field before the Rugby World Cup.

However, they stressed that their focus currently was on the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

ALSO READ: Springbok captain Siya Kolisi joins French Top 14 club Racing 92

“Siya is on track with his rehabilitation, and he’s hitting all his targets,” said Nienaber.

Erasmus added: “Our target at this stage is to have Siya ready to play one or two warm-up games before the World Cup.”

Springbok give update on Siya Kolisi recovery
Springbok squad

However, Nienaber said it was important for the squad to focus on the first task at hand in a season which features a condensed Castle Lager Rugby Championship, three World Cup warm-up games and the tournament itself.

“The World Cup is obviously the big one for us this year, but our focus is on our first Test against Australia,” he said.

“We have a plan for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and then we have World Cup warm-up matches against Argentina, Wales and New Zealand before we move into the World Cup.”

BOKS SKIPPER ON WAY BACK FROM RECOVERY

With Kolisi set to miss the southern hemisphere showpiece, Erasmus said just to name a few players, there were a number of potential interim captains in the squad for the other Tests. These include Steven Kitshoff (prop), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit (both loose forwards), Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am (both centres).

Erasmus, however, revealed that there was a concern at flyhalf in the training squad following a delay in Handre Pollard’s recovery from a leg injury, while Damian Willemse took a knock to the knee.

SA Rugby have announced that three current Springbok assistant coaches have signed contract extensions for another four years. The coaches are Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as Head of Athletic Performance, Andy Edwards. This will see them remain with the team until the conclusion of the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

They will continue in their roles under the guidance of SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus. His services are tied in until the end of the 2025 season at least.

TWO SPRINGBOK COACHES LEAVING 

Two members of the coaching team – Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and assistant coach Felix Jones – have advised that they are taking up offers with England and Leinster respectively after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“We are delighted to announce that Mzwandile, Deon, Daan and Andy have signed contract extensions that will see them remain with the Springboks until the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” said Rian Oberholzer, SA Rugby CEO.

Springbok coaches renew contracts for four years
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will leave his role after the World Cup

“They all come a long way as a coaching team under the guidance of Rassie, as Director of Rugby, and I am confident that the continuity in our coaching staff will bode well for the Springboks for 2023 and the following seasons.

Also read: Nienaber to step down as Springbok coach 

“It was our ambition to retain all the current coaching staff in recognition of the excellent work they have done over the past six years regardless of the outcomes of the Rugby World Cup later this year, and we are pleased that most of them have agreed to continue with the team.

“The planning to confirm a successor in the title role of Springbok coach remains ongoing in the background. Rassie’s services are tied down to the end of 2025 at the very least.

“With their services secured, it is business as usual. We would like to wish all the national coaches the best of luck as their preparations pick up for the forthcoming international season and the Rugby World Cup in France.”

The Springboks will face Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, 8 July. In their first Test of the season in the abbreviated Castle Lager Rugby Championship. It will be followed by matches against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later. Argentina will follow in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July.

South Africa director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has been slapped with a fresh ban by World Rugby in the wake of his latest social media rants.

Erasmus will therefore miss the remainder of the Springboks’ November tour

World Rugby issued a statement on Thursday confirming the ban. This was also in response to Erasmus’ recent criticism of officiating in the Springboks’ defeats to Ireland and France.

South Africa lost 30-26 to France in Marseille on Saturday.

It’s a game which featured a number of controversial moments. Also Including two red cards being handed out by referee Wayne Barnes.

Erasmus has just finished a near year-long matchday ban for posting a video about referee Nic Berry’s performance. This was in the first British & Irish Lions Test

SA Rugby Springbok
SA Rugby Springbok

WORLD RUGBY STATEMENT

“World Rugby has reviewed the recent social media posts by SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus that relate to match officiating in the Autumn Nations Series.”

“Match officials are the backbone of the sport and without them there is no game. World Rugby condemns any public criticism of match official selection, performance or integrity. Which undermines their role, the trust-based coach/match officials feedback process and the values of integrity, respect, solidarity and discipline that are at the heart of the sport.

Such behaviours affect the values across the game.

“In addition, under the Match Officials Communication Framework, national teams have the ability to enter into a confidential feedback process, which is critical for success in a high-performance environment. The success of these communications relies on direct and honest feedback.

TWO MATCH BAN FOR RASSIE ERASMUS

“In line with the Framework, World Rugby has the ability to impose a sanction where a breach has occurred. Having considered the matter World Rugby has issued a two-match ban against Rassie Erasmus and accordingly he may not take part in any match day activity in relation to the two upcoming test matches that South Africa has against Italy on 19 November, 2022 and England on 26 November, 2022. The ban includes engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials.”