The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Sunday announced the appointment of former Springbok loose forward Rassie Erasmus into a senior management position at the organisation.
Erasmus has been appointed at SARU to fill the vacant position of General Manager: High Performance Teams. He will also be seconded to the Springboks when they are in camp.
“Rassie is one of the most astute brains in world rugby – his appointment at SARU will ensure we have the best possible leadership at our national teams. He will work with all the national teams, but will be involved with the Springboks while they are in camp,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux.
“Our aim is to always produce winning teams and Rassie’s main task will be to establish structures to do this. He will be tasked to create a blueprint for South African rugby that can be implemented from junior to senior level, for our mens’, women’s and sevens’ teams.”
Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer said he was very happy with Erasmus’ appointment at SARU and that he was looking forward to working with the former Springbok loose forward.
“Rassie’s inputs to the Springboks last year were lauded by everyone I spoke to and his coaching pedigree speaks for itself, considering the vast amount of success he’s had at the Cheetahs and Western Province,” said Meyer.
“I’m excited to have him on board and I know he will add value to rugby in South Africa, which is ultimately what his job will be.”
Roux also announced that SARU have entered into formal negotiations with Vodacom Bulls forwards coach Johann van Graan, former Springbok fullback and Vodacom Blue Bulls backline coach Ricardo Loubscher, Vodacom Bulls defence coach John McFarland and Vodacom Bulls conditioning coach Basil Carzis.
SARU would also like to secure the services of Toyota Cheetahs conditioning coach Niel du Plessis, former Springbok flyhalf and Paarl Gymnasium Director of Sport Louis Koen, former French prop Pieter de Villiers and Ian Schwartz, High Performance Manager of the Blue Bulls.
Furthermore, three members of the Springbok medical team from the last four years, Dr Craig Roberts (team doctor), Vivian Verwant (physiotherapist) and Daliah Hurwitz (masseuse) have been re-appointed.
The rest of the management team will consist of Charles Wessels (Operational Head), Annelee Murray (PR and Admin Manager), JJ Fredericks (Logistics), Albé Visser (Technical Analyst) and De Jongh Borchardt (Communications Manager).
“It’s no secret that the negotiations around the Springbok assistant coaches positions have taken longer than we had hoped, but we want to give Heyneke the team that he sees as the best for doing the job,” said Roux.
“I’m very pleased that the process of securing the services of the right people is now in full swing and we’re confident that negotiations will be concluded soon as the Castle Lager Incoming Tour against England looms large.
“We know the people identified by Heyneke are the best in the business and we’ve worked very hard behind the scenes to secure their services to Springbok rugby. An announcement in this regard will be made very soon.”
Meyer said: “At this stage, I can’t really comment on the process, but I would like to thank SARU for the effort they’ve put in to getting the people I’ve identified to be part of my management.
“I have worked closely with most of the people while others have come very highly regarded and I’m confident the Springboks will benefit from their involvement. We will work well together as a team and will hit the ground running in the short turnaround for the first test against England,” Meyer said.
Brief CV – Rassie Erasmus
Date of birth: 5 November 1972
Springbok tests: 36 (Won 27, Lost 9, scored 7 tries). One test as captain, v Australia in Brisbane (1999); Tri-Nations winner (1998), Rugby World Cup bronze medal (1999), member of record-setting Springbok team that won 17 consecutive tests (played in all but two of these matches).
Springbok Debut: 5 July 1997 v British & Irish Lions in Johannesburg, Springboks won 35-16.
Provincial Career: Free State Cheetahs (1994-1998, 2001-2004) – 117 matches; Golden Lions (1999-2000) – 7 matches; Cats (1998-2001) – 46 matches; Stormers (2003) – 4 matches.
First-class Record: 214 matches, 58 tries, 2 conversions (294 points).
Coaching Positions: Free State Cheetahs 2005-2007 (Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby); Western Province and Stormers (2007-2011); Springbok Technical Analyst (Rugby World Cup 2011).
Major Coaching Accolades: Absa Currie Cup champions with Toyota Free State Cheetahs (2005 and 2007, shared in 2006) and runners-up with DHL Western Province (2010); Vodacom Super Rugby runners-up (2010) and SA Conference winners (2011) with DHL Stormers.