South Africa confirm Jacques Nienaber as new head coach

Jacques Nienaber was defence coach of South Africa in 2018
Jacques Nienaber was defence coach of South Africa in 2018
©Steve Haag

South Africa have confirmed the appointment of Jacques Nienaber as the new head coach with immediate effect.

The decision follows after director of rugby Rassie Erasmus decided to step down from his coaching role following the World Cup triumph last year.

Nienaber, who is also a qualified physiotherapist worked as a conditioning coach for Cheetahs in 2006 before he moved to Western Province and Stormers in 2008 as defence coach when Erasmus was appointed as the director of rugby of the Super Rugby club.

His impressive performance for Stormers helped him gain national recognition as he joined the coaching panel of the Springboks during the 2011 World Cup and the 47-year-old followed Erasmus to Munster in 2016 before becoming the full-time defence coach of South Africa in 2018.

"Jacques will be responsible for the test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches box with Jacques at matches," said Erasmus, who will continue with his director of rugby role.

"I'll still be responsible for the strategy and results with Jacques taking operational control. The structure allows the director of rugby to spend more time on other aspects of the role."

Felix Jones will continue to be part of the backroom staff along with Mzwandile Stick but will take a new role as European-based coaching consultant while Deon Davids will take the vacant position created by the departure of forward coach Matthew Proudfoot and Daan Human has been appointed as scrum coach.


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