South Africa has confirmed the appointment of former Munster defence coach Jacques Nienaber as their new head-coach.
Nienaber succeeds World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus, who has returned to the role of director of rugby with the Springboks.
"This is a massive honour and responsibility, but I think I have a good understanding of what it entails, especially in this new structure." the 47-year-old former physio said on becoming head-coach.
“I’ve worked with Rassie in a coaching capacity for nearly two decades now and we have a very good idea of how each of us thinks and as I’ll still be reporting to him our working relationship won’t be changing.
“It’s a big step-up for me in terms of carrying the day-to-day leadership role and there’ll be other adjustments but in many ways it will also be business as usual. We’ve built up a good culture over the past two years and we’ll simply be looking to extend that."
Erasmus hopes that Nienaber's change in role will allow the 'Boks to maintain continuity in their setup:
“Jacques is highly experienced and has worked with the Springboks on three separate occasions now so knows exactly what the job is about,” said Erasmus.
“Jacques will be responsible for the Test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches’ box with Jacques at matches.
“I’ll still be responsible for the strategy and results with Jacques taking operational control. The structure allows the director of rugby to spend more time on other aspects of the role."
Former Ireland international Felix Jones remains part of their coaching setup as an assistant coach and "European-based coaching consultant".