SA Rugby has confirmed that Matt Proudfoot will join the Springbok coaching staff and take charge of the team's scrummaging, breakdown and contact areas.
Proudfoot has signed a four-year deal with SA Rugby to serve as an additional assistant to Allister Coetzee after his Japanese club agreed to release him from his contract.
The 44-year-old former forwards coach at the Stormers, Western Province and Kobe Steelers, will work alongside fellow assistants Johann van Graan and Mzwandile Stick.
Coetzee welcomed Proudfoot's appointment: 'I know Matt very well from our coaching stints together in Cape Town and Japan and have a lot of respect for his ability to build a powerful pack and his rugby philosophy. I am confident that he will add a lot of value to our management staff and the coaches are looking forward to working with him.'
Coetzee explained that Van Graan will be in charge of all team attack and lineout play, while Proudfoot’s responsibility will be the Springboks’ scrummaging, breakdown and aspects related to contact areas. Pieter de Villiers will continue to be available as a scrum consultant to the Boks.
Proudfoot said he was excited about the opportunity to form part of the national set-up: 'The Springboks are at the beginning of a new era under the coaching guidance of Allister and I am very excited and very grateful for this opportunity. It is a huge honour to part of the Springbok coaching staff and I am looking forward to this challenge.
'I am very grateful to the Kobe Steelers for allowing me to join the Springboks. I enjoyed my time with them immensely and I want to wish them all of the best for the future.'
Coetzee, Proudfoot and other members of the Springbok management staff are currently visiting the local Super Rugby teams in preparation for the announcement of the Springbok squad that will do duty against Ireland in June.
The Springboks and Ireland will meet in the incoming series, which consists of three Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
Proudfoot's coaching career
2015-16: Assistant coach (forwards) at the Kobe Steelers in Japan
2009-15: Assistant coach (forwards) at the Stormers
2008-11: Assistant coach (forwards) at Western Province
2008: Head coach of NWU-Pukke (winners of the national club championship)
Photo: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images