SA Rugby announced on Wednesday that three current Springbok assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as Head of Athletic Performance, Andy Edwards, had signed contract extensions for another four years, which will see them remain with the team until the conclusion of the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.
They will continue in their roles under the guidance of SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, whose services are tied in until the end of the 2025 season at least.
Two members of the coaching team – Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and assistant coach Felix Jones – have advised that they are taking up offers with England and Leinster respectively after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
“We are delighted to announce that Mzwandile, Deon, Daan and Andy have signed contract extensions that will see them remain with the Springboks until the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” said Rian Oberholzer, SA Rugby CEO.
“They all come a long way as a coaching team under the guidance of Rassie, as Director of Rugby, and I am confident that the continuity in our coaching staff will bode well for the Springboks for 2023 and the following seasons.
“It was our ambition to retain all the current coaching staff in recognition of the excellent work they have done over the past six years regardless of the outcomes of the Rugby World Cup later this year, and we are pleased that most of them have agreed to continue with the team.
“The planning to confirm a successor in the title role of Springbok coach remains ongoing in the background, while Rassie’s services are tied down to the end of 2025 at the very least.
“With their services secured, it is business as usual, and we would like to wish all the national coaches the best of luck as their preparations pick up for the forthcoming international season and the Rugby World Cup in France.”
The Springboks will face Australia in Pretoria on Saturday, 8 July, in their first test of the season in the abbreviated Castle Lager Rugby Championship, which will be followed by matches against New Zealand at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland a week later, and Argentina in Johannesburg on Saturday, 29 July.
The team will then make the journey to Buenos Aires in August to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in Rugby World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (17 September), Ireland in Paris (23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (1 October).
The Rugby World Cup quarterfinals will be played on the weekend of 14/15 October, with the semifinals on 20/21 October and the final on Saturday, 28 October. -Super Sports