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Munster confirm that Rassie and Nienaber will leave the province in December

The SARU have been keeping a close eye on Erasmus’ successful season in Ireland.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE TODAY confirmed that director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and defence coach Jacques Nienaber will leave the province this year.

The announcement comes after months of speculation linking Erasmus with a return to his native South Africa, and the SARU have today announced the 44-year-old as their director of rugby overseeing the eight national teams.

The coaching duo, who joined Munster just last summer, are to work out a six-month notice period and so will remain with the southern province until the end of December.

Current Springboks head coach Allister Coetzee, despite a first year that included losses at home to Ireland and away to Italy, will remain in place after 3 – 0 series win over France this month.

Munster are currently seeking out a replacement for the influential coaches, who played a crucial role in guiding the team after the tragic death of Anthony Foley last year.

Earlier this month, Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones were awarded new contracts as forwards and backs coach respectively and they will be at the heart of the coaching ticket from the beginning of 2018.

“While we understand Erasmus’ reason to return to his home country for an opportunity as the national director of rugby we are disappointed to see him and Jacques both leave,” Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said in today’s statement.

“Working closely with both I witnessed first-hand the work that they do, and we will always be grateful to Rassie for leading the squad through our most difficult time with the untimely passing of Axel.

“I believe we were very lucky in securing Rassie and Jacques in the first place, and we are thankful for the services of such experienced and knowledgeable coaching talent.  Rassie succeeded in getting us back on track with much of the same personnel and when you see how far we have come and what we have gone through as a squad and organisation I am confident we will successfully manage the next stage.  As a group we will be all the better for their input with Jerry and Felix now ready to step up to the next level.

“We have been in this position before, whereby our coach has been offered a national role and we are not going to stand in the way of someone in that regard.”

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