They later also worked together at Western Province and the Stormers and also at Munster in Ireland, from where they joined SA Rugby two years ago
Springboks defence guru Jacques Nienaber will be unveiled as the national rugby team’s new head coach this afternoon.
The 47-year-old Nienaber, who has been Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus’ right-hand man for several years, played a crucial role in the Boks’ march to Rugby World Cup glory in Japan last year.
Nienaber became the favourite for the job following the World Cup when Erasmus made it clear he would not stay on in the head coaching role – the position he only temporarily filled since taking up SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby role at the national body since rejoining the body in 2018.
Nienaber and Erasmus’ paths first crossed when they were both in the defence force in Bloemfontein and both were involved in Free State rugby in the mid to late 1990s.
They later also worked together at Western Province and the Stormers and also at Munster in Ireland, from where they joined SA Rugby two years ago.
Before Nienaber became a world-renowned defence coach, he specialised in strength and conditioning and physiotherapy.
Erasmus, who masterminded the Boks’ triumph in Japan, will continue to work closely with Nienaber and the national team, but he’ll play more of a support and advisory role to enable him to focus more closely on all of SA Rugby’s structures and competitions.
Likely to be named as new members of the Boks’ management team today are Deon Davids and Daan Human, both of whom are set to fill roles among the forwards.
Davids, who previously worked at the Southern Kings, the SWD Eagles and Boland and also assisted at national junior levels, spent much of the last year shadowing Erasmus and his coaching team.
Human will join the Boks as a scrum consultant in place of Matt Proudfoot, whose contract with SA Rugby expired after the World Cup. He has subsequently joined Eddie Jones’ England coaching staff. The rest of the coaching team that was part of the World Cup-winning squad, including backs assistant Mzwandile Stick, will stay on in their current roles.