Rassie will continue 'coaching'
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: The ‘coaching’ part of his job title may disappear, but don’t expect Rassie Erasmus to go sit behind a desk.
Erasmus has fulfilled a dual role – both as head coach of the Springboks and Director of Rugby at the South African Rugby Union – since the beginning of 2018.
While a new ‘head coach’ will be appointed to the Bok team after the World Cup, Erasmus revealed that he will not be stuck behind a desk in future.
Speaking after naming the team to face Wales in the World Cup semifinal on Sunday, Erasmus says he and Warrant Gatland will certainly go head-to-head in 2021.
Gatland, who will step down as Wales coach after the World Cup, will take charge of the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2021.
“I will be involved with SA Rugby as the Director of Rugby‚” Erasmus said, when asked about his future.
“Depending on who will be the head coach‚ the Director of Rugby role will definitely not be an office job – sitting behind a desk, just thinking strategically.
“It will definitely be a hands-on job‚ working very closely with the head coach.”
He then turned his attention to Gatland, who he described as a great coach.
“I’m seeing the future and we [Gatland and I] will definitely compete again [in 2021]‚” he added.
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* Meanwhile Erasmus said they are expecting a very tough challenge from Wales when the two sides meet on Sunday.
“We’ve been fortunate to have been able to be pretty consistent in selection and we’ve built some nice momentum,” said Erasmus.
“But the challenge just got a lot tougher on Sunday.
“Wales are the reigning Six Nations champions – as well as Grand Slam winners – and apart from three defeats in their World Cup warm-ups have put together a really good sequence of results.
“But we’ve also found some rhythm and we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
After the disappointment of 2015, when the Boks lost their semifinal by two points to eventual winners New Zealand, Erasmus said the Boks’ aim was to reach the World Cup Final in Japan.
“We have been working hard for 18 months to put ourselves in a position to win the World Cup and that opportunity is now just 80 minutes away,” said Erasmus.
“These players have worked with unbelievable energy to get Springbok rugby back into this position and I know they will leave nothing out on the field on Sunday.
“We can feel the excitement coming from back home in South Africa and how much success will mean to our country. We know we’re playing for South Africa; that this is bigger than an 80-minute game of rugby.”
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