Springbok forward coach Gary Gold has become the new Director of Rugby at the Newcastle Falcons, as the exodus of Peter de Villiers' World Cup backroom staff to Euro continues.
Falcons owner Semore Kurdi confirmed on Thursday that Gold has been appointed for the remainder of the current season - where he will be joined at Kingston Park by Mike Ford, who will fulfil the role of defence coach.
The departure of Gold from South Africa follows news earlier this week that the Boks' technical advisor Rassie Erasmus has quit his job as the Stormers' Senior Coach to pursue "other options" in England and France.
The decision to appoint Gold in mid-season comes amidst confirmation that Alan Tait has taken a break from rugby.
However, the remainder of the Falcons' coaching staff will continue to support Gold and Ford, as the club strives to maintain its Premiership status.
Forwards coach Paul Moriarty will take charge of this Sunday’s Challenge Cup match at home to Petrarca Padova. Moriarty is key to the Falcons coaching set-up and will work alongside Gold and Ford.
Club owner Semore Kurdi said: "I would like to welcome Gary and Mike to the club. They will be a great asset alongside the existing coaching team and this is a demonstration of our intent to fight back and secure our Aviva Premiership status."
After four years as assistant coach at South Africa, Gold has decided to join the Falcons ahead of a number of other exciting job offers.
Gold boasts vast Super 14 and Premiership experience having being head coach at London Irish and Western Province respectively.
Joining the Springboks as forwards coach in 2008 under head coach Peter de Villiers, Gold was part of the South Africa set-up which won the Tri-Nations as well as beat the British and Irish Lions in 2009.
Gold began his coaching career as assistant coach at London Irish in 2001 before being promoted to the position of head coach the following year.
After three seasons at Irish, Gold moved to the Stormers as technical director prior to his switch to Western Province as head coach.
"This is an exciting challenge and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work in the Aviva Premiership," said Gold.
"Newcastle Falcons is a big club with big ambitions and an owner who is very determined so anything is possible.
"I know a lot about the players and the traditions of the club so I am really looking forward to the challenge of keeping top-flight rugby in the North East," added Gold.
Mike Ford arrives on Tyneside after five years as England defence coach which includes two World Cups and a British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005.
Ford worked under Brian Ashton during the 2007 World Cup campaign in France which saw England go all the way to the final only to be defeated by South Africa, and was part of Martin Johnson’s set-up during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
The Oldham-born former rugby league player and coach was head coach at Saracens prior to his move to the England fold in May 2006.
During his time at Twickenham, Ford worked under Andy Robinson, Brian Ashton, Rob Andrew and Martin Johnson before leaving his post as defence coach in December 2011.
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