World Cup - De Villiers thrown Springboks lifeline
Current South Africa coach Peter de Villiers' name will be on the shortlist when the South African Rugby Union (SARU) decides early next year who will take charge of the Springboks in 2012.
"This is the most important decision we have to make as appointing the best man for the job is critical," said SARU CEO Jurie Roux in a statement, adding that the remaining candidates had not yet been identified.
"The skills and qualities required by a Springbok coach are confined to only a small number of potential candidates."
Under the controversial and outspoken De Villiers, the Springboks won 30 of their 48 tests in the four years leading up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
He was, however, given little chance of getting his contract renewed beyond its Dec. 31, 2011 expiry date after the defending champions' World Cup quarter-final exit.
De Villiers has publicly expressed his desire to take South Africa to the 2015 World Cup in England, saying he has learnt valuable lessons from the failed 2011 campaign.
The Springboks' first post-World Cup assignment will be an unprecedented three-test home series against England in June, with matches in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
It is the first time one of the home unions will play a full test series on South African soil, with past tours restricted to two test matches. The only European team other than the composite British & Irish Lions to play a full series were France, who lost a four-test series 2-1 in 1968.
South Africa's final home match next year will be against newly-crowned world champions New Zealand at the 90,000-seater Soccer City, venue of the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.
South Africa's 2012 home schedule:
9 June v England - Kings Park, Durban
16 June v England - Ellis Park, Johannesburg
23 June v England - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
18 Aug v Argentina - Newlands, Cape Town
29 Sep v Australia - Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
6 Oct v New Zealand - Soccer City, Soweto