Rassie Erasmus has clarified that his role as Springbok head coach only runs until the end of the 2019 World Cup.
In an interview with SuperSport’s Matt Pearce, Erasmus sat down to review the ups and downs of the 2018 season. He also explained the nature of his six-year contract as director of rugby.
‘I’m only head coach until the World Cup next year. And again, the six years – as I’ve said many times before – is not there to protect myself, it’s there to protect Saru. We all know if I don’t perform as head coach or director of rugby, the people will vote me out.
‘And with all respect to my exco, my CEO, if we don’t perform on the field in the various departments or the Springboks, then I will get fired. The six years is not there for me, that’s only there for Saru. The Springbok head coach [role] is only until next year at the World Cup.’
When asked by Pearce to reiterate ‘on the record’ that he would only coach until the 2019 World Cup, Erasmus emphasised ‘exactly’.
‘When I was appointed as director of rugby, which includes all the national teams, I thought Allister Coetzee was still continuing. But the leadership decided that Allister should step down, and they asked me to take the job,’ Erasmus continued.
‘For somebody from the outside to all of a sudden have just 18 Test matches to prepare the team for the World Cup, I didn’t think that would be fair to that coach, it would have been a suicide job. And for myself, who’s been in the position before [as director], it made sense when they asked me.
‘Obviously, the flagship of SA Rugby is the Springboks. That was the first stop that we had to fix – the previous year, the only teams we beat were Italy, France and Argentina. It was a year and half out from the World Cup, we were also smashed by the All Blacks and Ireland, so it was the first port of call to fix the Springboks.’
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