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As you were: Erasmus happy to stick with same coaching team for next season

Jerry Flannery, Felix Jones and Jacques Nienaber are all set to stay put.

MUNSTER COACH RASSIE Erasmus says he has no plans to make any additions to his management team in the off-season.

Rassie Erasmus 'I think we have four guys that’s doing the job.' Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Erasmus was brought to the province last season in a Director of Rugby role, but since the untimely death of his head coach Anthony Foley, he and the rest of his coaching team have taken on extra duties.

Scrum coach Jerry Flannery, skills coach Felix Jones, and defence coach Jacques Nienaber have all shouldered extra responsibilities along with Erasmus, and the former Springbok says they have all coped admirably in difficult circumstances – so much so he wants to keep the same team together for next season.

“I think we have four guys that’s doing the job. So, no, I don’t think in the near future (we’ll make any changes),” said Erasmus.

“Jerry took on the lineouts and scrummaging and forward play over all. Felix, he started out as just the skills fundamental coach, he’s now full on the backline, attack, skills coach, and he’s doing the kicking and the highball catching.

“Jacques is doing defence and exits and those kind of things. Myself, I’m helping out at the breakdown and mauling. Between the four or us we are managing.

“We are fairly comfortable with each other right now. We went through some tough times and good times together. This weekend was a tough time and on Sunday night the boys were back at it.”

After their 26-10 defeat to Saracens in last Saturday’s Champions Cup final, Erasmus conceded that his side were beaten by the better team, and that even if they were on their best they may have not been able to beat the defending champions.

The general view since the game has been that Munster lacked a cutting edge in attack and kicked possession away too often. While agreeing that they need to improve in attack, Erasmus defended his side’s tactics.

“It is something that got us to a semi-final,” said Erasmus. “And last year we had Zebre in the pool and we didn’t get out of the pool. I guess if it isn’t the best tactics it’s at least a little bit better than it was last year.

A view of the Munster squad Munster braved the elements at training on Tuesday. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“I’m not sure if it is not easier to say afterwards, we went in with that tactics and we didn’t get the score. So obviously it wasn’t the best tactics, there must have been something else we could have done.

“We had a lot of territory and a lot of possession in the first-half. That’s the top level, the highest level, and they kept us out. There are various reasons for that, I can go into tactical or technical reasons for that but at the end of the day, their defence was better than our attack.

“We have to work on that attack and calmness. Test match level is like that although I think at Super Rugby level I think Saracens is probably one of the toughest – if not the toughest – I have been involved with. It seems like all 23 players can tackle, there’s not a weak defender.”

Two points from Saturday’s trip to Treviso will guarantee Munster a home semi-final in the Pro12, but they will again be without Conor Murray, who is not yet fit due to a shoulder injury.

Despite liming through the closing stages last weekend CJ Stander was fit to train in Limerick yesterday, although the rested Peter O’Mahony, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Andrew Conway, Niall Scannell and Tommy O’Donnell will not travel to Italy.

News that Erasmus will remain at the province next season has been welcomed at Munster, and he says he is happy to now draw a line under the speculation.

“I told the players seven or eight weeks ago, ‘boys you are not going to hear a definite ‘no’ from me in the newspapers because one day I would like to coach the Springboks, if I am good enough and the opportunity is there and if it fits in with everything and everything works’.

“I wouldn’t like to close the door there. Really if I’m good enough and the opportunity is there I would.

“It has always been the case, the moment anything changes I will come and sit here and say ‘guys listen there is something there’. I wouldn’t be speculating about those things. So yes I’m glad, I’m glad.”


Source: The42 Rugby Show/SoundCloud

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Declan Rooney

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