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SA Rugby in no rush to find Boks coach Nienaber’s successor as Erasmus steps in

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi shares a joke with coach Jacques Nienaber at the press conference at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday after the team's return from winning the the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi shares a joke with coach Jacques Nienaber at the press conference at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday after the team's return from winning the the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/ BackpagePix

SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will take over the Springbok coaching reins until a new coach is found.

This was confirmed by SA Rugby president Mark Alexander at OR Tambo Airport on Tuesday when the Boks returned after winning the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. 

Jacques Nienaber, who took over the Springbok coaching job in 2020, after Erasmus led the team to the 2019 World Cup title as coach, is leaving his post to join the coaching staff at Leinster in Ireland. 

“We will do the wash-up of the tour and talk about where we will go next, but there is no rush,” said Alexander.

“We have the director of rugby [Erasmus] to fill in that role in the meantime and we are taking our time to see the other coaches within the system and then we will make a decision.

“There is no rush for us to go ahead and appoint a coach tomorrow. We have enough cover for the programmes to continue. We are also looking from within because we are building succession.

“We are building capacity in the organisation. We will look deep into [the] organisation and if we fail to find the right person, we will go outside.”

Alexander said there is a possibility Erasmus may coach the team until the next World Cup in 2027.

“We will see how the succession plan looks, where we are in that planning and based on that we will decide to get a coach next year, the next year or maybe the director of rugby will coach the team until the next World Cup. We are not rushing to do anything.”

Springbok winger Cheslin Kolbe reflected on his late red card in their nerve-racking 12-11 final win against New Zealand in Paris on Saturday. 

“I was disappointed because I dropped my team and I dropped my country in minutes like that and in the final,” he said.

“I didn’t watch the last few minutes of the game. I [have] seen a few videos of it now, but God did it for us and I am happy to be sitting here with the Webb Ellis trophy in South Africa.”


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