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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

SA Rugby to take time to find replacement for Boks coach Jacques Nienaber

Rugby president Mark Alexander said they'd look internally as well as externally at candidates for the Bok coaching job.

SA Rugby are in no rush to replace departing Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber.

That’s according to the rugby body’s president, Mark Alexander, who addressed the media after the World Cup-winning team’s arrival back in South Africa on Tuesday morning, following their epic 12-11 win against the All Blacks in the final in Paris at the weekend.

Nienaber, who took over the Springboks coaching gig in 2020, will leave the position to join Irish province Leinster as a senior coach.

The 51-year-old coach bows out having led South Africa to their fourth Webb Ellis Cup win. During his tenure, Nienaber also guided the team to a win against the British and Irish Lions in 2021 and took the team to number one in the world rankings.


“We’ll do a wash-up of the tour (World Cup), and then we’ll see what our succession plan looks like and where we are in that planning. Based on that, we’ll either decide to get a coach next year, the following year or maybe the director of rugby (Rassie Erasmus) will coach the team until the next World Cup (in 2027),” Alexander said.

He added SA Rugby were not in a hurry to get someone in the role, but that they would be looking internally in their structures, but also externally.

Mzwandile Stick of the Springboks. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

“There’s no big rush for us to appoint a coach, we have the director of rugby fulfilling that role in the meantime,” said Alexander.

“We are taking our time to see how the other coaches within the system have fared thus far and then we’ll make a decision.

“We are looking from within because we are building succession and capacity within the organisation, so we’ll look deep in the organisation and if we fail to find the right person, we’ll look outside.”

Assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids would be in the running, but there are other coaches within SA Rugby’s structures who could be considered, as well as a number of other high-quality coaches not currently involved in coaching at SA Rugby level.

Meanwhile, the Springboks will have a rest day on Wednesday before they start their World Cup trophy tour on Thursday, covering Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto. Then on Friday, they will be in Cape Town and on Saturday and Sunday they will showcase the trophy in Durban and East London.

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