Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Cape Town - The worst-kept secret in the Springbok rugby was confirmed on Friday when Jacques Nienaber was named head coach.

Nienaber replaces Rassie Erasmus, who stepped down as national coach after South Africa's Rugby World Cup triumph to focus instead on his director of rugby position.

Nienaber had been the team's defensive coach for the past two seasons under Erasmus.

Erasmus and Nienaber have a long history, having first met in the army before crossing paths at the University of the Free State's Shimlas team where Nienaber was the physiotherapist and Erasmus the captain.

When Erasmus became coach of the Free State Cheetahs, he appointed Nienaber as strength and conditioning coach, with the latter later shifting his focus to the team's defensive structures.

Nienaber followed Erasmus to the Stormers and also to Munster in Ireland, before starting at the Springboks in 2018.

Nienaber is the 14th Springbok coach since readmission in 1992.

The 13 previous coaches were (with victory %): John Williams (20%), Ian McIntosh (33%), Kitch Christie (100%), Andre Markgraaff (61%), Carel du Plessis (37%), Nick Mallett (71%), Harry Viljoen (53%), Rudolf Straeuli (52%), Jake White (67%), Peter de Villiers (62%), Heyneke Meyer (67%), Allister Coetzee (47%) and Rassie Erasmus (65%).

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