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Erasmus takes a pop at Eddie Jones over dual-qualified Mngomezulu

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Rassie Erasmus has returned to the Springboks media spotlight with aplomb, even taking a pop at England boss Eddie Jones amid reports that Sacha Mngomezulu, the 20-year-old Stormers newcomer, is on the rival coach’s radar to declare for the country that South Africa defeated in the 2019 World Cup final.


Having served his lengthy World Rugby ban, Erasmus fronted his first official Springboks media engagement this week, sharing the stage at a virtually held briefing from Cape Town with Jacques Nienaber and Mzwandile Stick.

Some 25 minutes into the wide-ranging hour-long session, Erasmus was asked for his thoughts on the speculation that Jones’ England were interested in getting Mngomezulu involved with them as the South African youngster has dual eligibility through his father, radio personality Nick Feinberg, and reportedly has a British passport.

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Mngomezulu was a star for the Junior Springboks during the recent age-grade summer series when he ran the show from out-half and having impressed on his first URC start for the Stormers earlier this month, scoring 22 points in the win over Zebre, there has been interest about the future Test-level allegiance of the professional rugby rookie.

Erasmus looked to quickly put the England link to bed, though, when quizzed on the status of Mngomezulu, suggesting he could well be in line for involvement next month when the South Africa A team plays matches in Europe versus Munster and Bristol.


“I think Sacha is in with a big chance of making the SA A side,” said Erasmus. “If Sacha was to play for us, he must go and make that SA A side and play well for us. If he does qualify for both (England and SA), it is his decision. We will never try and convince somebody who wants to play for another country to play for us. It must be his own decision.


“He must want to play (for SA) and he must be so proud to play for the Springboks and he must be willing to fight his way to the top and make it. At this stage, when he gets his opportunity he must take it really well.

“If he qualifies for both and he would rather represent England, I will be surprised first of all. And second of all, it is very tough to change a guy’s mind. But I don’t really care what Eddie has to say about it, it is about what Sacha says.”


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RUGBYPASS+ The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023 The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023