Springboks new coach - Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Phill Magakoe / AFP

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Rassie Erasmus reveals his biggest achievement

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has revealed what achievement he values most since returning to the Springboks.

05-09-23 10:34
Springboks new coach - Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Phill Magakoe / AFP

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

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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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Despite numerous on-field successes, Rassie has also conducted various work behind the scenes as he seeks to strengthen the entire SA Rugby system, while one of his major priorities has revolved around changing the thinking when it comes to transformation and diversified representation.

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During a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, Rassie spoke passionately about his transformation work that began in 2013 when he set up his Elite Player Development (EPD) pathway aimed at supporting youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“I wanted to help people avoid embarrassment for what we’ve done – not just apartheid but how we tried to fix things which ended up embarrassing black and white people. I always believed that, in South Africa, if we use all our skills and backgrounds we will be unstoppable.

“My greatest moment was not holding the World Cup,” Erasmus added. “It was watching those players create and score tries in the final and trust each other. They felt it was a privilege to represent the country and they came through immense pressure with a smile. The EPD was my biggest achievement.”

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RASSIE ERASMUS IS SOUGHT AFTER OVERSEAS

According to the Rugby Paper, Erasmus is 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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Further to this, it was recently reported that while a formal offer has yet to be tabled, Erasmus could apparently be open to the move.

There is said to be a clause in Erasmus’ contract that enables him to leave earlier than 2025 when his current contract ends, and he is reportedly wary of his job security if the 2023 World Cup campaign does not go according to plan.

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SA RUGBY HAVE SOUGHT TO INSIGHT THAT ERASMUS IS LOCKED INTO A CONTRACT TO AT LEAST 2025

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.

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.

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Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber. Photo: SA Rugby