Springboks confirm coaching shake-up as Rassie commits to 2027, Vermeulen on board | Sport


SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

  • The Springboks have announced major changes to their coaching staff with Duane Vermeulen and Jaco Peyper now involved.
  • Rassie Erasmus, meanwhile, has signed on as head coach until 2027. 
  • The other big additions are New Zealand’s Tony Brown (attack) and Ireland’s Jerry Flannery (defence).
  • For more sports news, visit our home page.

The Springboks on Tuesday confirmed major changes to their coaching team, with Rassie Erasmus now officially signed on as head coach until the end of the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia. 

With both former head coach Jacques Nienaber and attack coach Felix Jones having now moved on, the coaching staff takes on a new look as preparations for a third successive World Cup crown get underway.  

The major news outside of Erasmus is that Springbok legend Duane Vermeulen joins in a “roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams”. He will now become the third member of a mobi-coaching unit, joining forces with existing coaches, Franzel September and Bafana Nhleko.

The Springboks, meanwhile, will also have an injection of international pedigree with former All Black and Highlanders flyhalf Tony Brown joining as attack coach while Ireland’s Jerry Flannery is unveiled as the new defence coach. 

Jaco Peyper, who retired from international refereeing this year, is on board as the Springboks’ new Law Advisor. 

“We are delighted to announce that Rassie Erasmus will take over the reins as the Springbok head coach once again following his success with the team since 2018, and we believe that with the continuity in the coaching structures and the exciting additions, we are in good hands in the ultimate objective of claiming a hat-trick of World Cup titles,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said in a statement.

“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.

“It is also a huge coup to have a world class referee in Jaco Peyper as a member of the management team and to retain his expertise in South African Rugby, as understanding the referees and their analysis of the laws is critical to any team’s success.”

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Alexander was also delighted with the appointment of Vermeulen.

“Duane has tremendous experience as a player and will take that IP into the coaching teams of our other national teams to give them an insight into what it takes to be a champion team,” he said.

“It also allows us to extend our own coaching base from within the ranks of the Springboks with an eye to the future.”

Springbok coaching team:

Erasmus – Head coach

Stick – Assistant coach

Davids – Assistant coach

Daan Human
– Assistant coach

Tony Brown
– Assistant coach

Flannery – Assistant coach

Edwards – Head of Athletic Performance

Erasmus, meanwhile, remains in hospital as he continues to recover from a freak accident last week in which he sustained severe chemical burns. 

“It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me,” said Erasmus.

“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 underway.”

Rian Oberholzer, CEO of SA Rugby, said that 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.”

The Springboks are scheduled to play their first Test of the year against Ireland on 6 July at Loftus.

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