He takes over coaching role after Allister Coetzee's sacking

Former Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has been confirmed as the new head coach of South Africa.

Erasmus left his post with Munster in November, joining the Springboks as Director of Rugby. At the time, it had been expected that Erasmus would work alongside head coach Allister Coetzee, who was under contract until after the 2019 World Cup.

But after a winter tour which saw defeats to Ireland and Wales, as well as a narrow win against an out-of-sorts France, Coetzee was dismissed by the South African union last month, departing with a  record of just 11 wins in 25 tests.

As expected, Erasmus has now been tasked with the head coaches job, which he will combine with his role as director. Assisting him will be Jacques Nienaber, who was his defence coach at Munster, while Pieter de Villiers and Mzwandile Stick also form part of the coaching ticket. Another former Munster colleague - Aled Walters - has been brought in as Head of Athletic Performance.

"It is a huge task to coach the Springboks and I am very privileged," Erasmus says.

"I really believe we have the players and the rugby IP to turn things around and to mount a serious challenge at the RWC. We have 18 Tests until Japan 2019 and have started planning, but it is also very important that we prepare thoroughly for the four Tests in June."

Rassie's first game in charge will be in Washington DC, when the Boks meet Wales on June 2, before they return home for a three test series against England later in June.