Ex-ref Peyper joins new Bok set-up, Rassie is officially head coach again
More hands-on at the field sessions, says Erasmus, who will be joined by Brown and Flannery
Rassie Erasmus has officially returned to the role of Springbok head coach in a team that now includes Jaco Peyper, Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery.
Erasmus, who helped steer the Springboks to back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles in 2019 and 2023, will take up the position for the next four years.
The coaching team has had a reshuffle after Jacques Nienaber and Felix Jones vacated their positions, but the talents of Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids, Daan Human and Andy Edwards (head of athletic performance) have been retained on contracts that run until the end of the 2027 World Cup in Australia.
Peyper, SA’s top referee for the better part of the past decade, will take up a full-time position as national laws adviser. He recently called time on his career, ending sixth on the list of the most experienced Test referees.
Bok No 8 and double World Cup winner Duane Vermeulen will also be part of the set-up, though he will have a roving role that includes other teams within SA Rugby’s set-up. He will become the third member of a mobi-coaching unit, joining forces with Franzel September and Bafana Nhleko.
Brown and Flannery have, for the past few weeks, been linked with the Bok coaching set-up.
Brown, a former All Black flyhalf, served as an assistant coach for Japan from 2016 to the 2023 World Cup and was also the Highlanders’ head coach in 2017, 2021 and 2022. His focus will be on attack.
Flannery, a former Ireland hooker and Harlequins assistant coach, will take charge of the Boks’ defence.
“We are delighted to announce that Rassie Erasmus will take over the reins as the Springbok head coach once again after his success with the team since 2018,” said SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.
“Tony Brown and Jerry Flannery are both former international players and bring fantastic coaching experience, and their skills will complement Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human.”
Erasmus, who is recuperating from medical procedures after a freak accident, said he is thankful for the trust placed in him by SA Rugby’s leadership to steer the national team again, and he is thrilled about the new appointments.
“It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me,” Erasmus said.
“The main difference between the last four years and this season is that I will be more hands-on at the field sessions. In my role as director of rugby in the last four years 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.
“We already had our first coaching session this week at the hospital, and it’s great to see the enthusiasm among the coaches to get the season under way.”
SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer said the role of director of rugby had been mothballed pending a restructuring of the rugby department of SA Rugby to meet the evolving high performance and participation needs of the sport.
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