Jacques Nienaber departs: Who will be the next Springbok coach?  – TechVerdant


Jacques Nienaber will be leaving the Springboks after an extremely successful run as the Springbok coach. 

Winning one British & Irish Lions Tour victory and Two Rugby World Cups is some resume for Nienaber and he will undoubtedly bring a lot of value to Leinster, where he will be coaching under Leo Cullen. The move signifies yet another chapter in the already strong relationship between Irish and South African rugby. 

Rassie Erasmus will be stepping into the coaching role until the position is filled. Unsurprisingly, SARU has stated that they are in no rush to fill the position. 

Who is next in line to replace Jacques Nienaber?

After eight of the most successful years of Springbok rugby ever, it will be no easy task living up South African expectations. SARU will stick with the current winning recipe. 

Let’s have a look at four of the most probable options and where they sit in terms of criteria.

The ideal Springbok head coach would be a former player, preferably a forward, a defence coach and a proud South African (Felix Jones is now an honorary Saffa)

Let’s have a look at four of the most probable options and where they sit in terms of criteria.

John Dobson 

Dobson, who narrowly missed out on back-to-back URC titles, will surely be a fan favorite as a candidate for the Springbok position. Dobson is responsible for the recent success of Stormers rugby both as a team and as a business. Dobson’s Cape Town-based team play an exciting brand of running rugby. He responsible for fostering creative and exciting rugby which has translated very well to the Springbok stage through the likes of Manie Libbok and Damian Willemse.

Dobson’s contract with the Stomers ends in 2025 and he will most likely stay on to keep building on what he has started. However, Dobson would definitely be keen to coach the Springboks in the future. 

Johann Ackerman 

Calls for Ackerman to take the reigns as Springbok coach have been made for a long time.

Ackerman, a seasoned player and coach, has all the right characteristics to be the next Springbok coach. He has taken teams from the bottom to the top and he has been coaching in Japan and England over the past few years, gaining invaluable experience. Not to mention that he coached the South Africa A team in 2016. 

Ackerman has an impressive coaching record, he is familiar with South African and Springbok rugby, he has the respect and grit to be the man in charge of the next chapter of Springbok rugby. 

Duane Vermeulen

Vermeulen, who is allegedly lining up a move to Stomers to fulfill a coaching role, would be a great candidate to take over as Springbok head coach. However, a few seasons under the belt for a URC team would be necessary for Vermeulen.

Vermuelen was seen in the coaching box during the Rugby World Cup 2023 on a couple of occasions. 

Seeing Vermeulen and Ackerman leading the coaching team would be nothing short of world-class. The only thing lacking would be backline expertise, which can be found in the hands of Mzwandile Stick.


Mzwandile Stick 

Stick has been part of the Springbok setup since 2016. He is expected to retain his role within Springbok rugby moving forward. Whether that position is head coach remains to be seen but if it doesn’t happen now, it will be a consideration in the future.

Mzwandile Stick and Duane Vermeulen would be an incredible partnership for Springbok rugby. The two have walked a long road together. This coaching duo would be a huge inspiration for South African-based players and coaches alike. 

Stick, who has been the Springbok backline coach, may not have a huge strike rate in terms of attack but his defensive record is second to none. 

The future looks bright for Springbok rugby

READ MORE: ‘Revenge of The Rugby Championship’ in 2023 RWC semi-finals contention

Any of these coaches and any combination of these gentlemen would be beneficial to Springbok rugby. Whether or not Rassie stays on as Director of Rugby will determine how much change will be needed. As long as he is around, he will have a hand in the coaching aspect for South Africa. 

Rugby in South Africa has become even bigger than ever, if you can believe that! From grassroots rugby to the international stage, the game runs incredibly deep for South Africans. The next coach to take the reigns will have his hands full, that’s for sure.

READ MORE: Duane Vermeulen: Who is his understudy?

Who do you think should be next in line? Let us know!


Photo Credit: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile from the Leincester Rugby Facebook Page





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