Cape Town - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has backed Ottis Gibson to stay on as national coach beyond the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Gibson's contract expires following the completion of this year's World Cup in England and winning that tournament has always been his primary mandate since taking the job in 2017.
It has prompted speculation over the coach's future should he not win the World Cup, but speaking ahead of the opening ODI against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Du Plessis made it very clear that the side was behind Gibson.
Du Plessis also expects the decision on Gibson's future to be taken before the tournament.
"Generally how those thing work is that they sign a contract with a starting and a finishing date. The finishing date is the World Cup, but that doesn't mean it will be the end of him," Du Plessis explained.
"I think what will happen over the next while, even before we go to the World Cup, is that there will probably be conversations between the board, team management and maybe even the captain where you discuss what the future is looking like.
"Does Ottis see himself coaching here for longer? Does CSA see him coaching here for longer?
"If Ottis is still keen to do it then the team would still love him on board. The team really works well under him and, certainly from a captaincy point of view, I've really enjoyed working with him. Our styles are very similar."
Together, Gibson and Du Plessis have won all of their home Test series in charge.
Play on Saturday at St George's Park begins at 13:00.