Has SA Rugby found Rassie Erasmus' replacement for key Springbok role?

Has SA Rugby found Rassie Erasmus' replacement for key Springbok role?

South African Rugby have reportedly made their decision on who will effectively replace Rassie Erasmus as director of rugby.

Erasmus has relinquished his role as SA Rugby director of rugby to take over as head coach of the Springboks for the second tenure following the departure of Jacques Nienaber to Leinster.

SA Rugby confirmed that the DOR role would be shelved in a restructuring and now reports suggest that the new title will be head of rugby.

In recent weeks, ex-Springboks fly-half and current women's head coach Louis Koen, along with Western Province and Stormers head of rugby Dave Wessels, have been linked to fill the new role.

However, according to Rapport, Wessels and SA Rugby are on the "verge of reaching an agreement".

The ex-Melbourne Rebels and Western Force head coach could be unveiled as the new head of rugby in the coming week and will take responsibility for many of the duties Erasmus performed as director of rugby.

Wessels has worked with Erasmus in the past during the latter's time as Stormers' head coach and is held in high regard by the Bok head coach. Erasmus is believed to have put Wessels' name forward on a shortlist of potential successors to him when he left Munster.

It is understood that Erasmus will still report directly to SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer, but he will work closely with Wessels.

The ex-Rebels head coach was appointed as the Western Province head of rugby by SA Rugby in May 2022 and has overseen a successful period with the Stormers, who won the maiden United Rugby Championship season and reached the final in the second season.

The appointment is set to complete SA Rugby's changes following the 2023 Rugby World Cup triumph. The Springboks coaching team has gone through some change since the victory in France, with ex-Ireland hooker and Harlequins coach Jerry Flannery coming in to head up the defence following Nienaber's departure.

With Felix Jones joining Steve Borthwick's England coaching team, Erasmus recruited ex-All Blacks fly-half and Japan assistant coach Tony Brown while also adding double World Cup-winning Springbok forward Duane Vermeulen into a role with the mobi-unit and ex-referee Jaco Peyper as the national laws advisor.

Assistant coaches Deon Davids, Mzwandile Stick and scrum guru Daan Human remain in their positions, having signed contract extensions to the 2027 World Cup.

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