Rassie Erasmus returns as head coach of South Africa

Rassie Erasmus led South Africa to win in the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Rassie Erasmus led South Africa to win in the 2019 Rugby World Cup
©Steve Haag

South Africa Rugby has announced that Rassie Erasmus will return as head coach of the Springboks until the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Erasmus will take over from Jacques Nienaber, who moved to Leinster after successfully guiding them to a World Cup triumph in France last year.

The 51-year-old has been involved with South Africa since 2017 and first coached them to a 2019 World Cup triumph in Japan and was the director of rugby when the team won the 2023 edition.

“The main difference between the last four years and this season is that I will be more hands-on at the field sessions,” Erasmus said in a statement from SA Rugby on Tuesday.

“In my role as Director of Rugby 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.

“With the coaching team finalised, we can now focus on planning for the season and the next few years.”

Former Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery has been appointed as the defence coach and will join the team from Harlequins while former New Zealand flyhalf Tony Brown has been named the attack coach.

Former South Africa international Duane Vermeulen also is part of the backroom staff while former referee Jaco Peyper, who retired last month, will join the team management to assist with interpreting the laws of the game. Assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as head of Athletic performance Andy Edwards have signed contract extensions until the 2027 World Cup.