JOHANNESBURG. — South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus says he will not stay on as head coach beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. In an exclusive interview with SuperSport commentator Matt Pearce over the weekend, Erasmus looked back on his first year in charge as both head coach of the Boks and Director of Rugby.
The Boks finished the year with a 50 percent win record, but a win over the All Blacks in Wellington and a number of other performances has generated a feeling of optimism surrounding the Boks’ chances at next year’s World Cup.
Regardless of what happens at that tournament, though, Erasmus seems certain that he will not stay on as head coach afterwards.
“I’m only head coach until the World Cup next year,” he said.
Erasmus has a six-year contract as Director of Rugby that would take him through to the World Cup in 2023.
“The six years (contract) is not there to protect myself … it’s there to protect SA Rugby. As we all know, if I don’t perform then the people will vote me out,” he said.
The Director of Rugby role requires to work with all structures under the SA Rugby banner, including the junior sides, women’s sides and even the unions and franchises.
It is a role that is considered hugely important to the future of South African rugby, but it is one that Erasmus has had to sideline in 2018 given his head coach responsibilities.
“When I was appointed Director of Rugby … at that stage I still thought Allister Coetzee was continuing. The leadership asked Allister to step down and then asked me to step in,” he said.
“The moment I am finished with this (head coach role) and for the next six months, I will be involved with them (the other SA Rugby structures) a lot.”
Meanwhile, Erasmus has responded boldly to his task of transforming the national side, saying that he refuses to “cheapen” the process.
Erasmus, in his first year as Springbok coach, was given a target of ensuring that 45% of his selections in 2018 were made up of players of colour.
That number will rise to 50% in 2019.
In 2018, the Boks carded 38.3% on the transformation front.
In an exclusive interview with SuperSport commentator Matt Pearce over the weekend, Erasmus argued that while transformation in terms of the actual number had not been achieved in 2018, the long-term, overall goal of transforming the side was a success.
“There was a clear target of 45% this year and next year there is a target of 50%. I didn’t reach the 45%,” Erasmus said, before going into detail around the topic.
Source : The Herald