Former Springbok captain Rassie Erasmus has been appointed as the new coach of the Springboks until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, SA Rugby confirmed on Thursday.
“Rassie Erasmus will spearhead a streamlined but experienced Springbok management team until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup,” it said in a statement.
The governing body for rugby in South Africa said the former captain will combine his Springbok coaching duties with his current role as Director of Rugby at SA Rugby.
The 45-year-old Erasmus takes over the national coaching duties from Allister Coetzee, who was in charge of the Boks in the last two years.
His three assistant coaches will be Jacques Nienaber, Pieter de Villiers and Mzwandile Stick, while Aled Walters will join the management team as Head of Athletic Performance.
SA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux said the changes to the Springbok management team are the result of a very thorough review process of the 2017 season.
“The Springbok team is our flagship brand and the on-field performances have a direct impact on the business of SA Rugby. 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,” said Roux.
The first task awaiting Erasmus will be to prepare the Springboks for a once-off match against Wales in Washington DC on 2 June and a tough three-Test Castle Lager Incoming Series against England, currently ranked number two in the world.
Erasmus, who re-joined SA Rugby at the end of 2017 following a brief but successful stint at Munster, described his new appointment as a tremendous honour.
“It is a huge task to coach the Springboks and I am very privileged,” said Erasmus.
In February, SA Rugby and Springbok coach Allister Coetzee announced their decision to part ways with each other with immediate effect.