Eras­mus farewell to Mun­ster to­day

Irish Examiner - Sport - - RUGBY - Tony Leen

Rassie Eras­mus will con­firm his de­par­ture as head coach of Mun­ster to­day, Examiner Sport un­der­stands.

The South African will re­turn to his home­land as SARU di­rec­tor of rugby af­ter a tu­mul­tuous sea­son in charge at Thomond Park.

Eras­mus will in­form Mun­ster play­ers this morn­ing, with the prov­ince look­ing to have his full-time re­place­ment in place by the au­tumn.

De­pend­ing on how soon Eras­mus leaves, Mun­ster may pro­ceed with an in­terim head coach for the time be­ing.

The South African may even have a role in nom­i­nat­ing his suc­ces­sor.

The Mun­ster squad only re­turned on Tues­day to full­time train­ing for the 2017-18 sea­son but they were al­ready braced for the de­par­ture of Eras­mus and his de­fence coach, Jac­ques Nien­aber in the wake of South African Rugby’s thinly-veiled pur­suit of the for­mer Spring­bok.

A re­port in the Afrikaan weekly news­pa­per Rap­port stated that SARU have tasked Eras­mus with get­ting the Spring­boks back on the same level as the All Blacks.

The re­port also claimed Eras­mus’ orig­i­nal plan was to re­main in Mun­ster un­til 2019, but pres­sure was brought to bear last year af­ter South Africa won only four of their 12 Tests in 2016.

“Saru has been try­ing to bring back Eras­mus since De­cem­ber 2016,” it added. “Ne­go­ti­a­tions were very sen­si­tive and sev­eral times threat­ened to de­rail. (But) Eras­mus is keen to play a big­ger role in Spring­bok rugby and it pro­voked him to re­turn. He in­formed Mun­ster two months ago that he re­signed. Ac­cord­ing to his con­tract, he has to stay for an­other four months be­fore he can re­turn.”

Whether Mun­ster opt to en­force the terms of the con­tract is a moot point, though indi­ca­tions are that Era­mus will de­part next month and will be in­stalled as South African di­rec­tor of rugby by the time the Boks play their first Rugby Cham­pi­onship game against Ar­gentina in Au­gust.

Rassie Eras­mus: May play a part in se­lect­ing his re­place­ment.

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