Erasmus back as Springbok coach; Flannery, Brown in technical team

Rassie Erasmus leaves his role as South Africa's director of Rugby as he returns as head coach, a role he has not held since 2019. Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Rassie Erasmus will coach champions South Africa to the 2027 Rugby World Cup, with former Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery added to the technical team as defence coach and ex-New Zealand flyhalf Tony Brown signed to sharpen the attack.

Erasmus returns as head coach after four years, a role he held when they lifted the World Cup trophy in 2019, before moving to director of rugby as they retained their title in France last year.

He had a heavy hand in that latest success, though, and takes over the position vacated by Jacques Nienaber, who has joined Irish side Leinster. Highly-prized attack coach Felix Jones has also left to link up with Steve Borthwick's England.

Flannery won 41 caps for Ireland before injury cut short his playing career. He had been working as assistant coach at English side Harlequins.

Brown won 18 caps with the All Blacks and was assistant coach with Japan at the 2019 and 2023 World Cups. He has also coached Super Rugby side Otago Highlanders and previously played in South Africa for the Stormers and Sharks.

"The main difference between the last four years and this season is that I will be more hands-on at the field sessions," Erasmus said in a statement from South Africa Rugby on Tuesday. "In my role as Director of Rugby I continued to oversee the team structures and strategy in conjunction with Jacques and the other coaches, so it should be an easy transition back into the head coach role.

"With the coaching team finalised, we can now focus on planning for the season and the next few years."

Former referee Jaco Peyper, who retired last month, will join the team management to assist with interpreting the laws of the game.

Assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as head of Athletic performance Andy Edwards, have all had their contracts extended to the 2027 World Cup.

Recently retired number eight Duane Vermeulen has joined SA Rugby in what is termed their mobi-coaching unit, which assists various of the different South African national teams.

The Springboks have a two test home series against Ireland in July but have been in talks with Welsh Rugby about a one-off test at Twickenham before that. No deal has yet been finalised.