Former Springboks coach Peter De Villiers has been appointed to lead Zimbabwe as it seeks to qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup, the union boss said Wednesday.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union CEO Sifiso Made confirmed De Villiers’ appointment on a two-year contract.

“As you are aware, Peter de Villiers was Springboks coach at both senior and junior level, and he is the first guy to beat New Zealand,” Made told AFP.

“He brings depth, knowledge and a wealth of international experience at the highest level which we didn’t have in our local coaches. This is the World Cup qualifier year and we need to win all the five games.”

De Villiers who coached South Africa between 2007 and 2011 takes over from Zimbabwean national Cyprian Mandenge.

Zimbabwe’s Sables play Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia and Uganda in the qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The winning team will face powerhouse New Zealand, South Africa and Italy in Pool B.

De Villiers was the Springboks first black coach, and he was axed seven years ago after the two-time world champions lost 9-11 to Australia in World Cup quarter-finals.