June 30, 2017 / 10:26 AM / 3 months ago

Rugby-Erasmus to leave Munster for SA Rugby role

CAPE TOWN, June 30 (Reuters) - Rassie Erasmus will leave Irish side Munster at the end of the year to take up a leading role with South African Rugby, but the job of national team coach Allister Coetzee is not under threat according to the union.

Erasmus will take up the position of Director of Rugby to head up coaching in the country, overseeing the running of the eight national teams, and management of 20 competitions as well as the development of players, coaches and referees.

Coetzee came under heavy criticism after the worst season in the country’s history in 2016 when the Springboks lost eight of their 12 tests.

He survived public calls for his dismissal, however, and engineered a comprehensive 3-0 victory over France in the recently completed June internationals.

“Allister has done a great job to turn the Springboks around this season and I can categorically put to rest any idea that he is being replaced as Springbok coach,” SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said in a media statement on Friday.

“We will do everything in our power to support him for the Rugby Championship and everything that lies beyond that.”

Jacques Nienaber, who worked in Ireland with Erasmus, is also returning to SA Rugby as a high performance coach.

Erasmus, who played 36 tests for the Springboks from 1997-2001, joined Munster in April 2016 and has won 26 of his 32 games in charge. (Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by John O‘Brien)

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