Rassie Erasmus
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Image: Twitter/@RassieRugby

Home » Bok boss Rassie Erasmus linked with top job in Ireland

Bok boss Rassie Erasmus linked with top job in Ireland

South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is apparently on the ‘wanted list’ for a key role in Irish rugby.

16-08-23 10:09
Rassie Erasmus
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Image: Twitter/@RassieRugby

Since 2018, Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber have been in the ‘top job’ positions for the Springboks, taking the team to new heights.

Erasmus, of course, initially served as the head coach as the Springboks went on to claim a third world title at the 2019 global showpiece in Japan. The 50-year-old then stepped into a new role as director of rugby, while Nienaber took over as head coach, which has included leading the side to a series win over the British & Irish Lions in 2021.

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After the 2023 World Cup, the duo would have been involved with the Springboks for a taxing six-year period, and earlier this year it was officially confirmed that Nienaber will finish his run as the national coach at the conclusion of the team’s Rugby World Cup campaign in France, before taking up a position in Leinster’s coaching ranks in Ireland next year.

Meanwhile, Rassie Erasmus has quite recently said he would be happy to “have another go somewhere” after his tenure with the Springboks ends, already hinting that he may be keen on a new challenge after his contract with SA Rugby concludes after 2025. Or could this happen sooner?

According to the Rugby Paper, Erasmus is now a sought after candidate to come in as IRFU performance director to replace David Nucifora, who stated last October that he would be leaving his post within the next two years.

The IRFU are apparently already looking to draw up a list of possible replacements, and Erasmus – who previously coached at Munster – is seen as a strong candidate along with former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

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It remains to be seen if anything comes of these latest reports, especially considering that reports earlier this year suggested that Erasmus himself is likely to take on the head coaching role once again until at least 2025, which is when his current contract runs until.

It would certainly be an interesting move for Erasmus to effectively take over from Nienaber, but it may make for a more seamless transition if he resumes the role he fulfilled between 2018 and 2019, while grooming the next head coach.

That would also mean that SA Rugby only need to find a new defence coach to take over the duties that Nienaber had fulfilled in this facet of play, while also finding one other candidate to take over from outgoing assistant Felix Jones.

It’s already been confirmed that SA Rugby is not looking at an overseas coach, and will also not be rushing to make an appointment.

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SA Rugby have already announced that three current Springbok assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as Head of Athletic Performance, Andy Edwards, had signed contract extensions for another four years.

They will continue in their roles under the guidance of Erasmus.

“We are delighted to announce that Mzwandile, Deon, Daan and Andy have signed contract extensions that will see them remain with the Springboks until the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” said Rian Oberholzer, SA Rugby CEO, earlier this year.

“They all come a long way as a coaching team under the guidance of Rassie, as Director of Rugby, and I am confident that the continuity in our coaching staff will bode well for the Springboks for 2023 and the following seasons.

“It was our ambition to retain all the current coaching staff in recognition of the excellent work they have done over the past six years regardless of the outcomes of the Rugby World Cup later this year, and we are pleased that most of them have agreed to continue with the team.

“The planning to confirm a successor in the title role of Springbok coach remains ongoing in the background, while Rassie’s services are tied down to the end of 2025 at the very least.”