Proudfoot had to wait to be released by his Japanese club Kobe Steelers, and the issue has finally been resolved, which saw the former Stormers forwards boss being unveiled as an assistant on Tuesday.
The 44-year-old has signed a four-contract that will take him through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and it is effective immediately. He said in a SA Rugby statement that he was delighted to be part of the Bok team management alongside his old mate Coetzee.
“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,” Proudfoot said.
“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.”
Proudfoot will be responsible for the Springboks’ scrummaging, breakdown and “all aspects related to contact areas”.
Fellow assistant coach Johann van Graan will continue to fulfil the role that he had under Heyneke Meyer’s reign, which was to look after the lineouts and attacking play. Mzwandile Stick is the backline coach, SA Rugby said on Tuesday that Pieter de Villiers, who was the Bok scrum consultant under Meyer, will still be available to the Boks when required.
Coetzee and Proudfoot have walked a long road together from their days at Western Province and the Stormers since 2009. T
he duo left Cape Town after last year’s Super Rugby campaign to join the Kobe Steelers in Japan, and have now been reunited at the Boks.
Proudfoot, who earned four Test caps for Scotland as a tighthead prop, has already been working with Coetzee as the Bok team management go around to the six SA Super Rugby franchises to explain their vision and selection criteria to the coaches and players ahead of next month’s three-Test series against Ireland.
“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,” 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.”
Indeed, Proudfoot did turn the Stormers and WP packs into formidable units, and will look to bring through a new generation of Bok forwards that may include current and former Stormers kingpins such as Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi and Nizaam Carr. Coetzee is set to announce his first Springbok squad on May 28, with the group assembling in Stellenbosch the next day ahead of the opening Irish Test on June 11 at Newlands.
Original source: Proudfoot joins Boks’ ‘new era’