John Robbie explains why South African Rugby brought Rassie Erasmus back into the fold.
It was confirmed some time back that Rassie Erasmus will take up the director of rugby role with South Africa after after a successful 2016/17 campaign with Munster. It was a season that began in tragic circumstances following the death of Anthony Foley but Erasmus rallied a shellshocked Munster squad and got them to a European semi final and a loss in a domestic final.
Erasmus is to leave his role as director of rugby in December unless Munster and the IRFU can find a suitable successor in the meantime. It is certainly not ideal for Munster heading into the new season but it is something they had to address sooner rather than later.
Speaking to Sporting Limerick, South African rugby pundit and broadcaster John Robbie says they are delighted to have such a “deep thinker” back in South Africa. The Springboks had a woeful 2017 but Robbie feels this dip in form is exactly what they need to kick on in 2018 when Erasmus arrives
“What an amazing character, he was a wonderful player, years ahead of his time and he’s proved himself to be a really deep thinker of the game…
“Rassie is someone who is very very well respected here, in South African rugby particularly at Springbok level has lost its way, last year was an absolute disaster, and funnily enough I think it was a good thing….. I think that that allowed South African rugby to sit back and take a good hard look at itself.”
Since the poor outing from the South Africans in the November internationals last year, Robbie believes they are back on the right track following a 3 nil whitewash of the French in June and Erasmus appointment is the perfect way to to help this relatively inexperienced South African team to develop
“There is a feeling that they need a general, they need somebody on top looking purely on rugby matters and I think that the spotlight has gone on Rassie and I think that Rassie has sort of felt it’s going to come at some stage….. and it’s a good time now after a disaster season, signs of a rehabilitation, wonderful players coming through.”
Robbie makes the point that it was inevitable from Erasmus’ point of view that he was going to return to coach his national team and also talks about Munster’s role in the decision and how understanding they were.
“I think it’s terrific that Munster have been so magnanimous about it and certainly the words of praise that they’ve given to Rassie and his team, I think everybody here has sort of taken it with reflective pride.”
You can watch the full interview on the link below.
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