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Published: 11:19 | 12/4/16

Springboks confirm Coetzee appointment

Former assistant takes over as South Africa boss

Allister Coetzee has been confirmed as the new coach of South Africa's rugby union team.

It has been widely reported of late that the 52-year-old would be given the post, and on Tuesday SARU confirmed his appointment, while also revealing details of the backroom staff.

Coetzee, the successor to Heyneke Meyer, will be supported by former Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick, who comes in as backline assistant.

Johann van Graan retains his role as forwards assistant, with Ian Schwartz remaining as team manager.

The experienced Coetzee, who was assistant coach to Jake White when South Africa won the World Cup in 2007, must contend with the retirement of Victor Matfield, Jean de Villiers and Fourie du Preez.

"Allister's appointment marks the changing of the guard at the top of Springbok rugby and is an exciting new departure for SA rugby," said SARU president Oregan Hoskins.

"It is a watershed moment for our game, with new players developing alongside a spine of experience, and it was the right time to have a new man guiding the Springboks for the foreseeable future."

Coetzee has a wealth of coaching experience at club level with South African sides, including through Currie Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2014 as boss of Western Province.

Hoskins continued: "Allister was the outstanding candidate in terms of his rugby credentials, his understanding of our unique South African transformation imperatives and also in the image he will present as Springbok coach. I am delighted to welcome him back into the Springbok fold.

"The Springbok coaching job is an enormous challenge but Allister has the full support of us at SA Rugby and we will be united in our efforts to continue to make Springbok rugby strong.

"I want to wish him well in his new job. I also want to pay tribute to Heyneke and his management team for their dedication and service to Springbok rugby the past four years."

Coetzee's deal is set to run until the 2019 World Cup, with his first game in charge being against Ireland in June.

By David Maher

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