New Era

Munster set to confirm Rassie Erasmus as new director of rugby

The South African is set to join the southern province from the SARU.

MUNSTER ARE SET to confirm the appointment of South African Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus as their new director of rugby ahead of next season.

The former Springbok back row will leave his current role with the South Africa Rugby Union this summer.

The42 understands that Erasmus visited Limerick for a second time earlier this week in order to seal his move to Munster.

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In February, the southern province’s Professional Game Board decided to create the director of rugby role, a response to Munster’s worrying performances on the pitch this season.

Prior to that decision, head coach Anthony Foley had signed a one-year contract extension to keep him with Munster into next season.

43-year-old Erasmus captained the Springboks once during a career that saw him play Super Rugby for the Cheetahs and the Lions. The flanker earned a total of 36 caps for his country and featured in the 1999 World Cup.

His post-playing career has seen him in charge of the Cheetahs and the Stormers in Super Rugby before he joined the SARU in 2012.

Erasmus has served as General Manager of High Performance for the last three years, maintaining the position when the SARU redesigned their structures and created their ‘Rugby Department’ last year.

Erasmus’ job has seen him manage the pathway for young players into the Springboks set-up, while he has also assisted with the coaching of the national team at times in recent years.

The Despatch native was in the running for the Springboks’ head coach role after the departure of Heyneke Meyer following the World Cup, but the position went to Allister Coetzee.

Erasmus appears to be well qualified to lead the hoped-for resurgence at Munster next season, given his highly-rated coaching ability, his network of contacts, and his planning and structural strengths.

The South African will be a hands-on presence on the training ground, essentially serving as the head coach as well as director of rugby. Erasmus is likely to install a new backroom team around him next season.

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