Rassie Erasmus admits 'huge task' ahead reviving fallen giants South Africa

New Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has admitted he faces a "huge task" reviving fallen giants South Africa.

The former Munster director of rugby has been appointed new Springbok coach up to the 2023 World Cup, replacing Allister Coetzee, who has lost his job halfway through a four-year contract.

"It is a huge task to coach the Springboks and I am very privileged," Erasmus said in a SA Rugby statement.

"I really believe we have the players and the rugby intellectual property to turn things around and mount a serious challenge at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"We have 18 Tests and just under 600 days until Japan 2019 and a lot of planning has already gone into our Rugby World Cup preparations.

"It is very important that we prepare thoroughly for the matches against Wales and England in June."

The Springboks season begins on June 2 with a one-off Test against Wales in Washington.

Erasmus has chosen his former Munster sidekick Jacques Nienaber (defence), Pieter de Villiers (scrums) and Mzwandile Stick (backs) as his assistants.

De Villiers is a South Africa-born former France prop who worked with the Springboks previously.

Ex-All Blacks coach John Mitchell, who is in charge of Pretoria-based Super Rugby side Bulls, hailed the appointment of Erasmus in an interview with New Zealand Radio Sport.

"Rassie has always been an impressive student of the game and he has always been innovative as well.

"I think having taken time out has rejuvenated his thinking about the game and clearly he has hit the sweet spot as a coach. Sometimes it is good to get out of the game and find a new way to do things - he certainly did that at Munster.

"He is not going to do it on his own. The critical thing is who he surrounds himself with... that is the key to his appointment."

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