Cape Town - According to reports, an agent on his festive season break is delaying the unveiling of the next Springbok coach.
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The Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks are on the hunt for a replacement for Rassie Erasmus after the former national team loose forward confirmed he was stepping down after two years of his six-year contract.
Erasmus will going forward fill the role of Director of Rugby at SA Rugby.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander was on record as saying he wanted the Springbok coaching role filled by the end of the year, but that's a Christmas wish unlikely to be granted now.
Defence guru Jacques Nienaber, a close ally of Erasmus' over the years, is wildly rumoured to have beaten the only other genuine candidate for the role, Deon Davids, to the hot seat.
SA Rugby has, according to reports on the TimesLIVE website, rubber-stamped Erasmus' recommendations for the new coaching structure going forward and has offered contracts to the new team that now need to be scrutinised by the coaches' respective legal representatives - and/or agents.
A source at SA Rugby said one of those agents is currently away enjoying his festive season break, pushing back the confirmation of the coaching team until just prior to next year's Super Rugby season which kicks off on January 31.
It's understood that Mzwandile Stick and Irishman Felix Jones - who were both integral members of the Springboks' World Cup win in Japan - are set to remain part of the new structure.
Forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot’s contract has expired and he will no longer be part of the coaching team and will be replaced by Davids who, most notably, previously coached the Southern Kings in the PRO14.
Proudfoot has been snapped up by England coach Eddie Jones - if reports are to be believed.
Should Nienaber succeed Erasmus, he will be 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%).
The Springboks’ first assignments as world champions will be two Tests against Scotland and one against Georgia in July next year.
- Compiled by Garrin Lambley