Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says he will consider his options around replacing Swys de Bruin following this weekend’s Test against Argentina in Pretoria.
SA Rugby announced that De Bruin, who has linked up with the Boks over the last two years as an assistant coach, asked to be released from his role for ‘personal and medical reasons’.
Erasmus told the media on Wednesday that he will be in discussion with the senior players in the squad around the potential of replacing De Bruin before the World Cup.
‘It is short notice for us. We did not expect this to happen,’ Erasmus said. ‘He did leave us after the match against New Zealand, the next day. So we have been coping without him for the last two weeks. We did think he would be able to join us again.
‘We will work through it. We will finish this game. During the week in Bloemfontein, we will look at all of our options – so I will chat to all the guys who are on leave, the 17 players who are not involved in Pretoria. I will chat with them and look at the options and make a decision.
‘We did manage the Auckland buildup week and week leading up to Argentina without Swys. But we did miss him. Not just his rugby brain but his personality as well. He is a good guy to have around on and off the field.
‘There is a lot to think about. I would be stupid to say yes or no right now. I will have a good think about it. Let’s concentrate on this Argentina game and then on Sunday, I will have a proper think about that.’
Erasmus added that De Bruin’s health should be a priority.
‘It is an unfortunate one. When it comes to one’s personal life, be it health, family or religion, that always comes first. In this case it is a health issue and a medical issue, which unfortunately Swys told us he cannot be with us.
‘It is very sad because I know he wants to be with us and we want him to be with us. He has contributed in such a big way. But personal life always comes first. We wish him all the best and hope he recovers as soon as possible.’