Cape Town – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says he will not stay on as head coach beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
In an exclusive interview with SuperSport commentator Matt Pearce over the weekend, Erasmus looked back on his first year in charge as both head coach of the Boks and Director of Rugby.
The Boks finished the year with a 50% win record, but a win over the All Blacks in Wellington and a number of other performances has generated a feeling of optimism surrounding the Boks’ chances at next year’s World Cup.
Regardless of what happens at that tournament, though, Erasmus seems certain that he will not stay on as head coach afterwards.
“I’m only head coach until the World Cup next year,” he said.
Erasmus has a six-year contract as Director of Rugby that would take him through to the World Cup in 2023.
“The six years (contract) is not there to protect myself … it’s there to protect SA Rugby. As we all know, if I don’t perform then the people will vote me out,” he said.
The Director of Rugby role requires to work with all structures under the SA Rugby banner, including the junior sides, women’s sides and even the unions and franchises.
It is a role that is considered hugely important to the future of South African rugby, but it is one that Erasmus has had to sideline in 2018 given his head coach responsibilities.
“When I was appointed Director of Rugby … at that stage I still thought Allister Coetzee was continuing. The leadership asked Allister to step down and then asked me to step in,” he said.
“The moment I am finished with this (head coach role) and for the next six months, I will be involved with them (the other SA Rugby structures) a lot.”