Rassie Erasmus won’t be present at the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown and is set to work remotely due to health concerns, SA Rugby have revealed.

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In 2019, Erasmus was diagnosed with microscopic polyangiitis with granulomatosis, but kept his illness private in the lead up to and during the Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan. The SA Rugby Director of Rugby and Springbok Green team commissioner will be shieled from the virus for the foreseeable future.

A statement from SA Rugby reads: “Media are advised that due to a pre-existing health condition, Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, will continue to work remotely to minimise his risk during the pandemic and will therefore not be with Team Green during the build-up to the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown, nor at the match on Saturday.

“Erasmus was diagnosed in 2018 with a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels including in the throat and lungs, which increases vulnerability to the impact of a potential COVID-19 infection.

“The condition is managed but until all risk is eliminated, Erasmus will continue to work remotely.”

The Springboks are building up to the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown at DHL Newlands on Saturday, 3 October, which will see two teams face off and against each other in a trial match. Erasmus said it was great for the players to get together again after such a long absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During lockdown, Jacques and his assistant coaches kept in touch with the players by means of regular virtual meetings,” said Erasmus.

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“However, nothing beats that feeling of being back in an actual team environment. Apart from the few training activities, which will not be heavily loaded, we will also spend a lot of time on aligning the players in both squads regarding our team objectives for the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown.

“Everyone are excited to be together again and we are looking forward to working with the players in the build-up to Saturday’s match.”

Deon Davids and Mzwandile Stick, the respective coaches of the Gold and Green squads, will announce their match day squads on Wednesday afternoon.

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