Jake White says Rassie Erasmus should coach the Bulls in next year’s Super Rugby tournament, with Victor Matfield working under him.
The Bulls have yet to find a replacement for Super Rugby coach John Mitchell, who left Pretoria just a year into his contract to become England’s defence coach.
Pumas head coach Jimmy Stonehouse and former Bulls and Bok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez have ruled themselves out of the job, leaving Matfield as the leading contender.
However, White believes the best thing for the Bulls, and the Boks, would be for Erasmus to coach the Pretoria-based franchise.
‘If you put your Springbok thinking-cap on, Rassie Erasmus taking over as Bulls coach is a great move,’ White wrote in his latest column for AllOutRugby. ‘Michael Cheika was still the Waratahs coach when he guided Australia to the final of the 2015 World Cup, and he continues to reap rewards from that stint because he’s got a good relationship with the Waratahs players who are important to the Wallabies.’
White added that the Bulls’ Boks would benefit from working with Erasmus during Super Rugby, while Matfield could learn from the Bok coach.
‘The Bulls have just signed Duane Vermeulen, who followed Rassie from the Cheetahs to the Stormers and was almost named the Bok captain earlier this year. Jesse Kriel, RG Snyman, Embrose Papier, Trevor Nyakane, Lood de Jager, Handre Pollard and Warrick Gelant are others based at Loftus Versfeld, and the Boks would benefit from having them working with the national coach on a weekly basis.
‘Victor Matfield only lasted a short while as a coach at the Lions, but working under Rassie for a season would give him a chance to prove he’s ready to be a head coach, and it would give the decision-makers at the Bulls a chance to see him in action before they make up their mind.’