Springboks in no rush to appoint Jacques Nienaber's successor as head coach

Springboks in no rush to appoint Jacques Nienaber's successor as head coach

SA Rugby said it will take its time to announce a successor for outgoing head coach Jacques Nienaber following another successful Rugby World Cup campaign.

After guiding South Africa to their fourth World Cup title, Nienaber is set to link up with Irish URC side Leinster after the celebrations conclude.

His departure leaves a vacancy at the Springboks for a head coach in 2024, with assistant coach Felix Jones also departing to join Steve Borthwick's England set-up.

However, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander confirmed this week that the union is not rushing their decision over who will be the next head coach, with Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus set to take over in the meantime.

"We will do the wash-up of the tour and talk about where we will go next, but there is no rush; we have the director of rugby [Erasmus] to fill in that role in the meantime," Alexander said.

"We are taking our time to see the other coaches within the system, and then we will make a decision; there is no rush for us to go ahead and appoint a coach tomorrow.

"We have enough cover for the programmes to continue. We are also looking from within because we are building succession. We are building capacity in the organisation. We will look deep in the organisation, and if we fail to find the right person, we will go outside."

Assistant coaches Deon Davids and Mzwandile Stick are believed to be in the running to take over from Nienaber, but Alexander did not rule out the possibility of Erasmus taking charge of the side until the next Rugby World Cup in 2027 in Australia.

"We will see how the succession plan looks, where we are in that planning and based on that we will decide to get a coach next year, the next year or maybe the director of rugby will coach the team until the next World Cup. We are not rushing to do anything," he added.

Meanwhile, Leinster coach Leo Cullen said that the side were flexible about when Nienaber will arrive.

"He's got to the end [of the World Cup], so we'll see what happens after that. We're pretty flexible for him, the big thing is he has to savour the moment he's in, it's a pretty special time," Cullen said after Leinster's victory over the Sharks.

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