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VIDEO: Ireland wing on 'lessons learnt' from Rassie

VIDEO: Ireland wing Calvin Nash says Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is a mastermind and great mentor – the one who orchestrated his debut for Munster.

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The 26-year-old wing had a sit-down with local and international media at St Peter’s College in Woodmead earlier in the week to talk about the Test series and the little interaction he had with Erasmus while the latter coached – Munster together with former Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.

Erasmus was Munster’s Director of Rugby for 18 months, working in Limerick with Nienaber, now senior coach at the Irish province’s local rivals Leinster.

Nash, who made his Munster debut under Erasmus seven years ago, says interactions at the time were limited.

The pair left Thomond Park together for roles with South Africa in 2018, winning two World Cups before Nienaber’s return to Ireland last year.

“Erasmus gave me my debut but other than that I didn’t have much dealings with him,” said Nash.

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“I tried to learn as much as possible from Rassie, and Jacques when he was there.

“They’re masterminds and great coaches.”

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Earmarked as a promising wing with a pace to burn, Nash was brought into the Munster pathway in his teens.

He made his international debut in a World Cup warm-up against Italy, but did not make the trip to France once Andy Farrell trimmed his squad for the tournament.

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The wing says having played in the Six Nations helped him build a bond with his teammates and gave him experience at the international level.

“Six Nations helped me a lot, [I have] a lot more calmness coming into the international stage,” he added.

“Getting to know the lads was probably the main thing for me. Knowing what they’re doing on the pitch, but the off-the-field relationships are massive and what helps the team be stronger.

“It’s been class to get over here, spend more time with the lads, and get to know people more.”

The Munster wing has gained valuable experience playing in South Africa.

He was part of the Irish side that won the 2023 United Rugby Championship [URC] Final in Cape Town.
He admits that it’s “easier to find footage” of Saturday’s opponents because so many of them now play in the URC.

“You’d just be all over their traits and their threats”, he says, “but other than that, we’ll focus on ourselves while being conscious of the threats they have. But we’ll focus on our connections.”

Ireland trained in Johannesburg during the week and will have their captains run at Loftus on Friday afternoon.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell will announce the team for Saturday late on Thursday afternoon.

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