Rassie addresses Ireland link
INTERVIEW: South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Monday formally addressed the ongoing and ever-growing rumours about his reported move to Ireland.
Ever since it was confirmed that the Irish Rugby Football Union’s Performance Director David Nucifora will not renew his contract, Erasmus’ name was on an ‘informal media shortlist’ for the vacancy.
The Australian, Nucifora, has been in the job since 2014 and his current contract expires after the World Cup in France.
Erasmus’ name has been so heavily linked to the job that some uninformed pundits claimed it was ’90 to 95 percent certain’ the SARU boss would be gone after the World Cup.
However, Erasmus on Monday rubbished those reports.
He was speaking at a media briefing ahead of the crunch Pool B match between South Africa and Ireland in Paris on Saturday.
He was asked if he would follow Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber to Dublin, who will take up a position as Leinster’s senior coach – replacing Stuart Lancaster, who will join Racing 92.
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“There is no truth in that,” Erasmus told a media briefing, adding that he has had #NO discussions with the IRFU about any position.
Erasmus’ contract as the Director of Rugby at SARU runs until 2025.
“I am not sure where it [the rumours] started, but I have not chatted to them.
“I am definitely not following Jacques [Nienaber].”
Having previously served as Munster head coach for the 2016-2017 season, Erasmus left his post after just one season when he was offered the chance to take the reins of the South African national team.
Erasmus (as coach) and Nienaber (as defence specialist) won the World Cup with the Boks in 2019.
Erasmus, although still heavily involved in the coaching structures, relinquished the title of coach and passed that baton on to Nienaber.
They are looking to make history by not only becoming only the second team to retain the World Cup, but also the first-ever country to lift the Webb Ellis Cup four times.