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Erasmus drops Springboks bombshell

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Erasmus drops Springboks bombshell

Rassie Erasmus says he will not stay on as head coach even if he leads the Springboks to World Cup glory in Japan next year.

Erasmus is adamant he will revert to the wider brief given to him by the South African RU when they handed him the role of Director of Rugby with responsibility for all areas of the game until the 2023 World Cup is over. Erasmus said it was his responsibility to accept the head coach role up to the 2019 World Cup as “it would’ve been a suicide job” to expect someone from outside the system to take over.

It means South Africa will join England in attempting to identify a new high profile coach to take the national team to the 2023 World Cup in France. With Eddie Jones ending his time with England, he will enter the equation for not only the Australia top job but also with the Springboks. Jones was a member of the coaching team that helped South Africa win the 2007 World Cup the last time it was held in France.

In an exclusive interview with SuperSport, Erasmus looked back on his first year in charge as both head coach of the Boks and Director of Rugby which saw the team finish with a 50 per cent win record. While Erasmus will be disappointed with that return, the victories included an outstanding triumph over the All Blacks which convinced the doubters that the Springboks were back on track and capable of another Cup triumph.

“I’m only head coach until the World Cup next year,” said Erasmus who signed a six-year contract as Director of Rugby.

“The six years (contract) is not there to protect myself … it’s there to protect SA Rugby. As we all know, if I don’t perform then the people will vote me out. When I was appointed Director of Rugby … at that stage I still thought Allister Coetzee was continuing. The leadership asked Allister to step down and then asked me to step in.

“For somebody from the outside to all of a sudden have just 18 Test matches to prepare the team for the World Cup, I didn’t think that would be fair to that coach – it would’ve been a suicide job. And for myself, who’s been in the position before (as director), it made sense to ask me.

“Obviously the flagship of SA Rugby is the Springboks. That was the first stop that we had to fix – the previous year, the only teams we beat were Italy, France and Argentina.

“The moment I am finished with this (head coach role) and for the next six months, I will be involved with them (the other SA Rugby structures) a lot.”

Watch: Rugby World Cup Japan city guide – Oita

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Erasmus drops Springboks bombshell