MUNSTER BELIEVE THAT they have landed “the stand out candidate” following confirmation that Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus has been appointed as the province’s Director of Rugby.
The South African, who had been widely tipped to fill the newly-created post, has agreed a three-year deal and will start work on 1 July.
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora said that “Irish Rugby is fortunate to have secured such an outstanding talent” while Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald hailed Erasmus as a “world-class individual.”
Erasmus, 43, won 36 caps for the Springboks during his playing days and has served as the South African rugby team’s high performance general manager since 2012.
His role at Munster will be “(to) lead Munster’s senior team, academy and coaches to deliver Munster’s Strategic Plan with ultimate responsibility for team performance and results,” Fitzgerald said.
News of Erasmus’s arrival had created uncertainty around the role of Anthony Foley, who is contracted until the end of 2017, but he is set to remain on as head coach.
“It is a huge honour to have been appointed by Munster Rugby in the newly created role of Director of Rugby,” Erasmus said in a statement issued this afternoon.
“It is an opportunity which comes with a huge responsibility not only to the club who has a proud 137-year history, but also to the supporters and the wider community.
“It is a challenge which I humbly accepted but with a clear desire to use all my past experience as a player, coach and administrative High Performance manager, to make Munster rugby one of the top rugby clubs in Europe.”
Erasmus’s playing career included spells with both the Cats and the Stormers in the Super 12, and the Free State Cheetahs and the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup.
As a coach he led the Cheetahs to the Currie Cup in 2005, ending a 29-year drought in the competition, and was the franchise’s first coach following their admission to the Super 14.
He also coached the Stormers as well as two stints as Springboks technical adviser during the victorious 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign and again in 2011.
– Reporting by Murray Kinsella
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