The 47-year-old Nienaber said: “This is a massive honour and responsibility, but I think I have a good understanding of what it entails, especially in this new structure.
“I’ve worked with Rassie in a coaching capacity for nearly two decades now and we have a very good idea of how each of us thinks and as I’ll still be reporting to him our working relationship won’t be changing.
“It’s a big step-up for me in terms of carrying the day-to-day leadership role and there’ll be other adjustments but in many ways it will also be business as usual. We’ve built up a good culture over the past two years and we’ll simply be looking to extend that," he added.
According to Erasmus, the appointment of the vastly experienced Nienaber underlines a commitment to continuity, although the director of rugby would still carry the responsibility for Springbok performances.
“Jacques is highly experienced and has worked with the Springboks on three separate occasions now so knows exactly what the job is about,” said Erasmus.
“Jacques will be responsible for the Test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches’ box with Jacques at matches.
“I’ll still be responsible for the strategy and results with Jacques taking operational control. The structure allows the director of rugby to spend more time on other aspects of the role,” said Erasmus.
Meanwhile Erasmus thanked departing forwards coach, Matt Proudfoot, for his work with the team over the past four years as the only departing member of the coaching team.
“Matt did a brilliant job with our pack and I’d like to thank him from me, the team and SA Rugby,” said Erasmus.