Described in his playing days as the "prince of wings'', Du Plessis, 36, thus becomes the youngest coach in Springbok history. He has the dual responsibility of leading his country through 13 internationals this year, as well as healing some of the game's self-inflicted wounds.
Markgraaff resigned last week after a secret tape-recording was published of a conversation in which he made racist remarks against black sports officials.
The former Western Province and Springbok winger - unrelated to South Africa's World Cup winning manager Morne du Plessis - retired at the age of 29 as sporting isolation limited his career to just 12 Tests between 1982 and 1989.
n Second Division Moseley have signed the winger Gavin Houlston from the South African province Transvaal. Houlston, 23, who was Transvaal's leading try scorer last season, holds a British passport and will be able to play as an English-qualified player.Reuse content