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"It is a great privilege": Rassie Erasmus has been announced as the new head coach of South Africa.
Rugby union Sport

“It is a great privilege”: Rassie Erasmus has been announced as the new head coach of South Africa.

After Jacques Nienaber’s departure to Leinster, Rassie Erasmus will resume his role as the head coach for South Africa.

Erasmus was head coach for South Africa’s 2019 World Cup victory and had been director of rugby when the Springboks successfully defended their title in France last October.

“I am extremely grateful for the trust the South Africa Rugby Union has placed in me to coach the Springboks,” said 51-year-old Erasmus on the union’s website.

The primary contrast between the previous four years and this current season is my increased involvement in field sessions. As the director of rugby during the last four years, I was responsible for supervising team structures and strategy alongside Jacques and other coaches, making it a smooth transition back into the head coach position.

“We’ve already had our initial coaching session this week at the hospital, and it’s wonderful to witness the coaches’ eagerness to kick off the season.”

Erasmus will take charge of a revised coaching team while Nienaber and assistant coach Felix Jones are away, with Jones joining England after their success at the 2023 World Cup. Jerry Flannery, a former Ireland hooker and Harlequins assistant coach, will oversee South Africa’s defense, while Tony Brown, a retired All Black fly-half and current Highlanders head coach, will be in charge of attack. Jaco Peyper, who recently retired as an international referee, has also joined the Springboks as a national laws adviser.

The director of rugby for the Harlequins, Billy Millard, expressed regret about Jerry’s departure from the team. He acknowledged Jerry’s strong presence and accomplishments at the Harlequins and wished him success in his transition to international rugby and further growth in his career. He also made it clear that Jerry will always be welcomed back at the Stoop.

Mark Alexander, the president of SA Rugby, stated that they have confidence in the coaching structures and the new additions to the team. They believe that this will lead them towards their ultimate goal of winning a third consecutive World Cup title.

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South Africa will be playing their next matches in a two-game series at home against Ireland in July.

Source: theguardian.com