Rassie Erasmus to head coach, assistants named

Rassie Erasmus to head coach, assistants named


Rassie Erasmus has been named as the Springboks head coach through to 2027, adding Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery as assistant coaches, nominating retired referee Jaco Peyper for an advisory role and giving Duane Vermeulen a roving coaching role.

With head coach Jacques Nienaber moving on to become senior coach at Leinster and assistant Felix Jones joining Steve Borthwick’s England, director of rugby Erasmus will now be head coach through to 2027 and he has now recruited Brown from Japan and Flannery from Harlequins to assist him.

A statement read: “Rassie Erasmus, the mastermind behind the Springboks’ back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles of 2019 and 2023, has returned to the role of head coach for the next four years following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Leinster.

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“Erasmus, who coached the team in 2019 and was director of rugby four years later, will lead a modified coaching team in the absence of Nienaber and attack coach Felix Jones, who has left to join England.

“Replacing them will be former Ireland hooker and Harlequins assistant coach Jerry Flannery, who will take charge of the team’s defence, and former All Black fly-half Tony Brown, who served as an assistant coach for Japan from 2016 to the 2023 World Cup and was also the Highlanders head coach in 2017, 2021 and 2022. His focus will be on attack.

“The duo will complete the Springboks 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.

“Another exciting new addition to the Springboks team will see renowned international referee and four-time referee of the year, Jaco Peyper join the team as national laws advisor.

“Double RWC-winning Springboks No8 Duane Vermeulen has also been appointed to a roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams where he will become the third member of a mobi-coaching unit, joining forces with existing coaches, Franzel September and Bafana Nhleko.”

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said: “We are delighted to announce that Rassie Erasmus will take over the reins as the Springboks head coach once again following his success with the team since 2018, and we believe that with the continuity in the coaching structures and the exciting additions, we are in good hands in the ultimate objective of claiming a hat-trick of World Cup titles.

“Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery are both former international players and bring fantastic coaching experience, and their skills will complement Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids, and Daan Human.

“It is also a huge coup to have a world-class referee in Jaco Peyper as a member of the management team and to retain his expertise in South African Rugby, as understanding the referees and their analysis of the laws is critical to any team’s success.

“We are excited about this Springboks coaching team, and we’ll be thrilled to see how the double world champions perform once they return to the field for the first time since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in France last year.

“Duane has tremendous experience as a player and will take that IP into the coaching teams of our other national teams to give them an insight into what it takes to be a champion team. It also allows us to extend our own coaching base from within the ranks of the Springboks with an eye to the future.”

Erasmus added: “It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me. 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, and it’s great to see the enthusiasm among the coaches to get the season underway.”

Springboks 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

 





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