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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 28 November 2020
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Erasmus expects to be at Munster next season but has clauses in contract

The South African director of rugby has been strongly linked with a return home.

RASSIE ERASMUS SAYS he expects to be at Munster next season, but admitted that his IRFU contract includes clauses relating to other jobs.

The South African joined the southern province as director of rugby on a three-year contact last summer, leaving behind a role as high performance manager with the South African Rugby Union [SARU].

Rassie Erasmus Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

But with South African rugby and the Springboks struggling, the SARU is already making an effort to bring Erasmus home.

Erasmus was linked with a return to South Africa as head coach of the Boks initially, but it’s now understood the SARU want him to move back as a director of rugby for the union.

Asked yesterday if he expects to be with Munster next season, Erasmus indicated that he does, while also stating that there are clauses in his current deal.

“Yes, I do,” said Erasmus. “I do. Just because I have a contract with Munster, I will never go outside my contract and outside the clauses and not honour a contract if there isn’t something stipulated there.”

Erasmus indicated that his contract has similar clauses to the deal Pat Lam had with the IRFU, which meant he had to give the union six months notice if he was to leave Connacht.

That proved to be the case, with Lam opting to move to Bristol this summer, meaning he informed Connacht and the IRFU in December.

While Erasmus did not go into any further detail on the exact nature of the clauses in his own IRFU contract, it means there will still be come concern among Munster supporters as the SARU continue their pursuit of the former Springbok back row.

“I have been talking to them for the last… since I have been here,” said Erasmus of his contact with the SARU. “I have been living there and coaching there the last 16 years and I know the guys really well.

Rassie Erasmus with CEO Garrett Fitzgerald Erasmus with Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“There has been some formal and informal chats, you know, and as I said last time when they talked about the coaching position, I wasn’t in the mix and I wasn’t in the mix last time.

“This is such a big week, where all the chat that I had with them was really informal. And I am just parking that now, focusing on this quarter-final and not let my situation become something in a big week like this.

“I have a three-year contract with the IRFU and then speculation like that just gets the focus away from the team on a big, big occasion.”

Indeed, a Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse is the primary focus for Erasmus and Munster this week, but the province’s supporters’ fears won’t have been fully eased by the director of rugby’s words yesterday.

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Murray Kinsella

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