Agent delays the appointment of the new Springbok coach

23 December 2019 - 13:52 By Liam Del Carme
Rugby World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus goes back to his office job as SA Rugby director of rugby.
Rugby World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus goes back to his office job as SA Rugby director of rugby.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

An agent on his festive season break is causing the delay of the unveiling of the new Springbok coach.

SA Rugby rubberstamped outgoing Bok coach Rassie Erasmus’s recommendations for the new coaching structure and has offered contracts to the new team that has to be pored over by the coaches’ respective legal representatives and or agents.

A source at SA Rugby said one agent is away on his festive season break and that is causing the delay in the announcement of the coaching team.

Jacques Nienaber‚ who has established himself as a defence guru‚ is widely expected to be named the new head coach‚ while Deon Davids is also believed to be part of the new structure that will operate under Erasmus‚ who is SA Rugby’s director of rugby.

It is understood that Mzwandile Stick and Irishman Felix Jones are also set to be part of the new structure.

Neinaber‚ Stick and Jones were all part of Erasmus’s coaching team that helped win the Rugby World Cup in Japan last month.

Forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot’s contract has expired and he will no longer be part of the coaching team.

With Erasmus going back to his office job‚ Nienaber‚ his long-time lieutenant‚ is expected to take over the reins in a move that will provide continuity in the Bok coaching ranks.

The new Bok coach will have to work closely with the director of rugby and it helps that Erasmus and Nienaber’s coaching careers are almost inextricably linked.

“He gets the message across brilliantly‚” Erasmus said of Nienaber during the World Cup.

“We first met each other a long time ago when we were in the army together‚” said Nienaber of Erasmus during the same tournament.

“In the army‚ you get fairly tight and then we went to university together.

"Rassie stayed on in the army a little longer – he was much better in the army than I was… He was a very good tactician as you can see.

“Then we met up again when I was a physio and he was the captain of the varsity team. We got involved in rugby there‚” said Nienaber.

SA Rugby is hoping to have the coaching team in place well before the start of Super Rugby at the end of next month.

The Bok coaching team is expected to work closely with their Super Rugby colleagues.

The Springboks’ first assignment as world champions will be two Tests against Scotland and one against Georgia in July next year.