Cape Town - The USA Eagles have named former Springbok centre Jaque Fourie as their new defence coach.
The news was confirmed on the official USA Rugby website on Friday.
The 35-year-old, who played 72 Tests for the Boks between 2003 and 2013, spent the 2018 season coaching at the Western Force in the Global Rapid Rugby competition.
During his time as a national team player, Fourie participated in coaching clinics and used his expertise as an athlete to help guide and direct up-and-coming players.
He then played for the Kobelco Steelers in Japan from 2011-2017 where he helped with the defence of the team until his retirement from playing in 2017.
Fourie joined the Western Force as a full-time coach in 2018.
Fourie's appointment will begin with the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 where he'll join head coach Gary Gold.
The new defence coach will be a critical position to fill as the programme gears up for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan where Fourie's fundamental knowledge in defence and ability to relate as a former-player will be a significant benefit to the Eagles.
"I am so excited to be a part of the USA Eagles coaching staff and team in 2019," said Fourie. "They have grown so much in the last year and after playing in three Rugby World Cups myself, I know what a massive honour and privilege it is to be part of one of the biggest sporting events in the world. To do that with this team and as a coach will be amazing."
USA Rugby's General Manager for Men's 15s Programmes, Dave Hodges also commented: "We are thrilled to have Jaque Fourie join our coaching team as we dive deep into the Rugby World Cup year. The defensive coaching position is critically important to us as we work to ensure our team is fully prepared for what will be one of the most competitive World Cups yet. Jaque's leadership skills and ability to relate to our players will be a compliment to Head Coach Gary Gold's overall team strategy."
Fourie will join the USA team for their first game of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 against Chile on February 2.
Following the Chile match, the Eagles will face Argentina XV in Rio Negro on February 9 and then come home for three games in the USA including Brazil (February 23) in Austin, as well as Uruguay (March 2) and rivals-Canada (March 8) in Seattle.