Ex-Bok Erasmus joins race for Munster director role

Johann ‘Rassie’ Erasmus

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Former Springbok Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus has emerged as a leading contender for the newly created director of rugby job with Munster.

The former flanker is leaving his post as South Africa Rugby's general manager of high performance this summer and is reported to be weighing up offers from clubs in Japan and Europe as he considers his next move.

It is understood that he has spoken to the Munster hierarchy about taking up the position that was advertised last month.

The director of rugby will have responsibility for the "professional rugby programme and elite player development pathway in the province" and will work alongside head coach Anthony Foley for the first season at least.

The province hope to have a new man in place soon as they look to recover from a disappointing season and Erasmus certainly ticks a lot of boxes, with his network of contacts in the southern hemisphere and coaching experience with the Cheetahs, the Stormers and Western Province as well as his time in the politically charged environs of the SARU.

Erasmus won 36 caps for South Africa between 1997 and 2001 and was linked with the vacant head coach job with the Springboks, before pulling out of the race, with Allister Coetzee set to take over from Heyneke Meyer.

Former All Black Todd Blackadder and ex-Ireland coach Declan Kidney (right) had previously been linked with the Munster job.

Meanwhile, Ulster are fretting on news from South Africa that their marquee signing Marcel Coetzee suffered a serious knee injury while on duty for the Sharks at the weekend. He has been sent for scans, but looks set to miss the Boks' three Tests against Ireland in June and may not be available for the start of next season with his new club.

"It's not looking good. He's gone to hospital, he's had a scan," Sharks coach Gary Gold said of the flanker, who signed a three-year deal with Ulster. "We just hope that it's as minor as possible but there does seem to be a little bit of laxness in the knee which does suggest that at very best he won't be ready for next week."