Nelspruit - Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok prop CJ van der Linde has signed as forwards coach for the Pumas for the duration of the 2017 Currie Cup season.
The 36-year-old Van der Linde retired from professional rugby after the 2015/16 season with French Top 14 side Montpellier, but remained in the set-up as scrum coach.
Van der Linde, who made 75 appearances for the Boks and was an integral part of the team which won the 2007 World Cup, will now replace Hein Kriek at the Pumas.
Kriek has been given an early release to take up an opportunity to join the coaching staff of the Czech National Rugby Union under Director of Rugby, Phil Pretorius.
Van der Linde said that he was happy to be back in South Africa.
"It is great to be back in my own country and to work with quality people at the Pumas. I’m looking forward to the opportunity," said Van der Linde.
He added that he was excited to work with head coach Brent Janse van Rensburg again, whom he played under and coached with at the Eastern Province Kings.
"I was very impressed with Brent’s way of coaching and managing the programme at the Kings. It’s exciting to be able to work with him again," Van der Linde said.
Janse van Rensburg said that Van der Linde brings a wealth of international experience with him.
"Having coached with him before, I know what huge value he can add. He is very sound both technically and in character. We warmly welcome him to the Pumas family," said Janse van Rensburg.
The Pumas got off to an excellent start in the Currie Cup Premier Division this past weekend, defeating the Golden Lions 43-36 in a bonus-point victory at Mbombela Stadium. This Saturday, the Mpumalanga side will face the Sharks in Durban.