- Jacques Nienaber joins Leinster after taking South Africa to World Cup glory
- Rassie Erasmus was head coach when the Springboks won the title in 2019
- Even after becoming director of rugby, his influence on the team has remained
Rassie Erasmus will return as South Africa’s head coach, he confirmed to local media on Sunday, and will return in the near future to the role he held when the team won the World Cup in 2019.
Jacques Nienaber guided the Springboks to their second consecutive World Cup victory last month, but had already announced in April that he would take on a new role with Irish side Leinster after the tournament in France.
Assistant coach Felix Jones meanwhile joins Steve Borthwick’s England team.
After winning the World Cup as coach four years ago, Erasmus took over as South Africa’s director of rugby. He now returns to help them prepare for the 2027 World Cup as they eye a three-peat.
However, his influence was never far from the team as the Springboks claimed a record fourth World Cup title, with a 12-11 victory over New Zealand in last month’s final.
Rassie Erasmus (right) returns as South Africa head coach, while Jacques Nienaber (left) joins Leinster after leading the Springboks to World Cup glory in France last month
Erasmus, who won the World Cup in 2019 before becoming South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie, was banned by World Rugby in 2021 after an hour-long railing against the organization and their referees as he dissected their first Test loss to the British. and Irish lions
South African newspaper Report said Erasmus has confirmed he will take over Nienaber’s duties as he looks to challenge for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup win in 2027.
Erasmus is revered in South Africa for his innovation, tactical insight and ability to get the best out of the players at his disposal, but he has also courted controversy at times.
His video criticism of Australian referee Nic Berry after losing the first test of the 2021 series against the British & Irish Lions earned him a long-term matchday ban from World Rugby.
Erasmus has also come under fire for social media posts criticizing opponents.
What is not in question, however, is his ability to galvanize the Springboks on and off the field when it matters most.
Erasmus responded to an anonymous report outlining ‘questionable decisions’ in South Africa’s 22-17 loss to the Lions in the first Test
“What Rassie is really good at is looking at the root of the problem and saying, ‘This is what we need to fix,’” said former assistant coach Matt Proudfoot. Sports24.
‘He is driven by that process; he never sleeps in search of that advantage.
“Rassie has a unique ability to see what is at the heart of the matter, what is the one thing that is going to make a difference.”
Assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids, as well as scrum coach Daan Human, are expected to remain in their roles, along with head of athletic performance Andy Edwards.