Saturday 18 November 2017

Erasmus staying on despite Springbok interest

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will reject any attempts by South Africa to lure him back as their head coach amidst widespread reports that current incumbent Allister Coetzee faces imminent dismissal.

Erasmus, who was the Springboks' head of performance before linking up with Munster last summer, has been earmarked by some within the South African Rugby Union (SARU) as a potential replacement for the beleaguered Coetzee, who has only been in his job 10 months.

However, the lawyer who negotiates for Erasmus, who is signed on with his former defence coach Jacques Nienaber until 2019, has laughed off any potential move.

"He is very happy in Ireland and he doesn't have the interference there that happens here in South Africa," said Frikkie Erasmus of a coach who was busy yesterday signing a raft of long-term player deals.

"He has a long stint to go on what is a very good contract. Rassie has not been approached at all, it is pure speculation."

Although there are widespread rumours that Coetzee's sacking is inevitable following a weekend review by the SARU, they may not be able to do so under employment law.

"We're not sure which way we're going, whether we're keeping Allister or not," SARU president Mark Alexander told local media "At the end of January we'll make an announcement on whether we're keeping him."

It would be costly, as Coetzee has two more years to go on a €400,000 salary while a move for Erasmus, who would insist on retaining Nienaber were he to momentarily contemplate a move, would cost several times that amount.

Munster, meanwhile, yesterday confirmed that Chris Farrell, JJ Hanrahan and James Hart will join the province next season.

Irish Independent

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