Minister of sport hails Duane’s new role

The two-time world cup-winning No 8 has been appointed to a roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams.

Duane Vermeulen’s appointment to SA Rugby’s mobi-coaching unit has been ‘applauded’ by Minister of Sport Zizi Kodwa, who welcomed the changes to the Springbok coaching staff.

SA Rugby on Tuesday announced that Vermeulen has been appointed to a roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams.

The two-time world cup-winning No 8 will become the third member of a mobi-coaching unit, joining forces with existing coaches Franzel September and Bafana Nhleko.

SA Rugby also confirmed that Rassie Erasmus has returned to the role of head coach until the end of 2027, with the position of director of rugby mothballed.

Erasmus, who coached the team in 2019 and was director of rugby four years later, will lead a modified coaching team in the absence of Jacques Nienaber and attack coach Felix Jones, who has left to join England.

Replacing them will be former Ireland hooker and Harlequins assistant coach Jerry Flannery, who will take charge of the team’s defence, and former All Black fly-half Tony Brown, who 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.

“I welcome the new appointments to the Springboks technical team,” Kodwa tweeted.

“I encourage them to continue the path to elevate SA rugby. I applaud the appointment of recently retired Bok legend Duane Vermeulen, which signifies a key pathway to coaching and sports administration for ex-players.”

The rest of the coaching staff remain the same ones who led the Springboks to a title defence in France. Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as Andy Edwards as head of athletic performance, who were key coaching staff in 2023, extended their contracts midway through 2023 until the conclusion of the 2027 world cup in Australia.

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