Rugby 1.3.2018 11:46 am

Juggling act for Erasmus as Saru appoint him Springbok coach

The saviour of the Springboks' brand? Saru director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

The saviour of the Springboks' brand? Saru director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

The former Bok flanker will combine his role with his primary post of director of rugby in an appointment that lasts till end 2023.

In what is hardly a revelation, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) on Thursday confirmed that Rassie Erasmus will be the new Springbok coach.

He will combine this role with his primary responsibility of being Saru’s director of rugby.

However, there will be question marks over the fact that Erasmus has been handed the role until after the 2023 World Cup.

Is that the type of arrangement that fits in with Saru’s strategic transformation programme?

More importantly, will Erasmus later in his tenure relax in terms of his management style and be more open to input from someone like Mzwandile Stick, who returns as an assistant coach and is clearly being groomed for a bigger future role?

Nonetheless, Saru believe this is the best model to take the national team forward.

“Following a very detailed review process of the 2017 season, I believe that we have managed to assemble a strong and experienced Springbok coaching and management staff. We are looking forward to see improved performances this season,” said Saru chief executive Jurie Roux.

Erasmus will be, as expected, assisted by long-time working partner Jacques Nienaber and forwards guru Pieter de Villiers.

“It is a huge task to coach the Springboks and I am very privileged,” said Erasmus.

“I really believe we have the players and the rugby IP (intellectual property) to turn things around and to mount a serious challenge at next year’s Rugby World Cup.”

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