Matt Proudfoot, the former assistant coach of the Stormers, Western Province and the Kobe Steelers in Japan, has joined the Springbok coaching staff, SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday.
Proudfoot has signed a four-year contract with SA Rugby to be an additional assistant of Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, after his Japanese club agreed to release him from his contract.
The 44-year-old Proudfoot joins the current Springbok coaching staff, consisting of head coach Coetzee, Johann van Graan and Mzwandile Stick. His term with the Springboks starts immediately.
Coetzee, who was last month appointed to succeed Heyneke Meyer as coach of the national rugby team, welcomed Proudfoot to the Springbok coaching staff.
“I know Matt very well from our coaching stints together in Cape Town and Japan and has a lot of respect for his ability to build a powerful pack and his rugby philosophy,” said Coetzee.
“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 all aspects related to contact areas. Pieter de Villiers will continue to be available as scrum consultant to the national team.
Proudfoot is a former Blue Bulls front-row and also played four Tests for Scotland. He first caught the attention as a promising coach when the NWU-Pukke won the 2008 National Club Championships under his guidance.
In 2009, he was recruited by current GM: Rugby at SA Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, to join the Stormers as a scrum consultant, following the appointment of Gary Gold to the Springbok coaching staff.
He later joined Coetzee as assistant coach at the Stormers and Western Province respectively, where he was responsible for the forwards.
Proudfoot said he was excited about the opportunity to join the Springboks: “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 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,” said Proudfoot.
Coetzee, Proudfoot and other members of the Springbok management staff are currently conducting a series of visits to the local Super Rugby teams in preparation for the announcement of the Springbok squad who will do duty against Ireland next month for three Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.