Powell will take charge of the team for the first time at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia next weekend. He will be assisted by his former teammate, Vuyo Zangqa, who was appointed as assistant coach.
The appointments were confirmed at a meeting of the Executive Council in Johannesburg, which ratified the recommendation of the technical committee.
“Following his retirement as an active player in 2012, we took Neil into our structures with a view to developing him as a coach of the future,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU. “It has been a thorough process in his appointment and he will continue the successful partnership he has had with Vuyo in recent times.
“Neil was a vastly experienced player and is very familiar with the HSBC Sevens World Series. They make their debut in Australia next week and we’re looking forward to their contribution to the growth of our Sevens programme.”
The team departs for Australia on Monday.
Powell and Zangqa were part of the Springbok Sevens squad that won the HSBC Sevens World Series in the 2008/09 season.
The 35 year old Powell, who also represented The Sharks, Vodacom Bulls, Cats and Toyota Cheetahs in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and GWK Griquas, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the Absa Currie Cup, played for South Africa in 32 tournaments on the HSBC Sevens World Series. He is also a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist (2010).
Zangqa (32), a former Border Bulldogs and Leopards representative, played in 19 tournaments of the HSBC series.
The Council also confirmed the appointment of another former national player, Renfred Dazel, as the Springbok Women’s Sevens coach. He replaces Denver Wannies.
The 32 year old Dazel, who also represented Regent Boland Kavaliers in the fifteen’s code, played in 32 tournaments in the HSBC Sevens World Series and were part of the Springbok Sevens squad that won the HSBC Sevens World Series in the 2008/09 season .