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'I’ve never been speculating' - Erasmus says he is staying with Munster

The South African director of rugby says he will remain with the province in the coming years.

RASSIE ERASMUS SAYS he is staying with Munster beyond the summer, ending the prospect of the director of rugby returning home to South Africa.

Former Springbok back row Erasmus has been heavily courted by the SARU in recent months and it’s understood that he was offered a four-year contract by the South African union to move home next season.

Rassie Erasmus Erasmus is staying with Munster. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

But speaking after Munster’s defeat to Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-finals, Erasmus confirmed that he will be staying with the province.

Rassie, will you be here to oversee the development of Munster?

“Yes,” answered Erasmus. “Hopefully, you mean with the winning and trying to get the winning culture going?”

No, for the next few years?

“Yes, yes, yes, yes.”

You’re definitely staying, Rassie?

“Yes.”

So that can end the speculation?

“I’ve never been speculating about this!”

With hooker Niall Scannell confirming that the Munster players had been informed a number of weeks ago by Erasmus that he will be remaining with the province, the news meant a happy ending to a tough day.

It was well-timed from Erasmus to finally offer a definitive answer to questions around his future, having previously failed to fully clear the issue up.

While the defeat to Saracens on Saturday showed that Munster have a long way to go on their journey, the vast majority of the province’s supporters will be thrilled to hear that Erasmus is staying on.

There is little doubt the South African has done superb work in his first season with Munster and there remains a Pro12 title to compete for over the next month.

With the future in mind, Erasmus realises more than anyone that his team will need to continue to develop if they are to hit the kind of heights Saracens are at.

Rassie Erasmus Erasmus has been an impressive figure in his first season. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“If we’ve come this far in nine, 10 months? If you go back and see how far Saracens came in eight, nine, 10 months when they were starting out, I think we’re pretty much really close to where we want to be,” said Erasmus.

“We’ll be better in a year’s time, and two years’ time and three years’ time. We will be better, but you’re right, we have to get more, what is it, strings in our bow? More arrows, more options.

“We can’t just stay with one game plan and think that will work.”

While Erasmus’ players have been on a steep learning curve during this campaign and will take important lessons from losing to Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-final, Erasmus has been gathering coaching knowledge too.

“It is the different style of teams you get to play against and obviously for me the challenge is to focus on Pro12 and on Europe – it’s really something different and new to me,” said Erasmus.

“Here we have two competitions, one week is Europe and the next week is Pro12 and you have to shift your focus, where are you on the table in Europe, where are you on the table in the Pro12?

“The way Racing play, the way Toulouse play, the way Saracens play. When you coach in the Southern Hemisphere, there’s like a theme, everyone plays around a certain theme. Here, it’s just totally different styles.

“So it was probably something that was a good experience and a hell of a learning experience. I’ll have to find answers quickly to adapt to that.”

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McCall believes Saracens can be better and sees brighter future for Munster

‘It’s hugely reassuring that Rassie’s staying’ — Scannell

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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