As South Africa are still revelling in their World Cup triumph, in the coming weeks Rassie Erasmus faces yet another gruelling task.
Erasmus, who was named 2019 World Rugby Coach of the Year, revealed he will step down as head coach following the World Cup.
Fortunately, Erasmus will remain Director of Rugby, while a new ‘head coach’ will be appointed to the team.
The 46-year-old has assured that he will work “very closely with the new head coach”, leaving the question who will be the ideal candidate for the job.
According to numerous South African media outlets, current defence coach Jacques Nienaber is set to take over the role as the new man in charge.
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Aiding the speculation and theory is Erasmus’ close relationship with Nienaber. They have known each other since the 1990s and Nienaber has been Erasmus’ right-hand man at the Free State Cheetahs, Stormers, Munster and now the Springboks.
Selecting someone inside the camp certainly suits the Director of Rugby’s long-term succession plans, thus Matt Proudfoot (forwards coach) and Mzwandile Stick (backline coach) could also be ideal candidates.
In terms of outsiders, Johan Ackermann (Gloucester – head coach), Johann van Graan (Munster – head coach) and Heyneke Meyer (Stade Français – head coach) are some of the names that could take over the position.
Ackermann recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Premiership side Gloucester, so it could be a costly affair to lure the former Lions coach back to South Africa.
While Meyer’s position at Stade Français is under huge threat given the Top14 side’s current form. Meyer has received the backing from the owner and German billionaire Hans-Peter Wild, but local French media are calling for his resignation as the club find themselves at bottom of the Top 14 table.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 5, 2019
Deon Davids is another name than pops up in talks of the new Springboks coach. The former Southern Kings coach is highly-rated by Erasmus and was even invited to ‘job shadow’ the Springboks during the Rugby Championship campaign.
Despite all the uncertainties, one thing is certain the next coach will have to maintain the Springboks’ current trajectory to greatness.
Springboks fans were ecstatic after their side’s World Cup final win – but English fans were in a fairly good mood too:
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