Munster’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has triggered a six-months’ notice clause in his contract that will allow him to leave the southern province for a job at the helm of the South African national side according to a report published by the Irish Independent this morning.
Following Munster’s comprehensive Champions Cup semi-final defeat to the competition’s eventual winners, Saracens, in April, fears that Erasmus might depart the province seemed to be put to rest.
Reports in South Africa had suggested that the former Springboks captain was set to leave and Erasmus himself had admitted to having “formal and informal chats” with the South African Rugby Union(SARU), but Munster hooker Niall Scannell told the press that the players had received an assurance from the coach that he intended to see out the remainder of his three-year contract.
“There’s been a lot speculation, but he clarified to us a few weeks ago,” Scannell said. “And I’ll be honest with you, at the time it was reassuring to hear because himself, Jacques (Nienaber), Felix (Jones) and Fla (Jerry Flannery), they’re a top quality coaching ticket and they’ve done so much for us..”
However, according to the Irish Independent report, SARU were determined to pry Erasmus away from Limerick and continued their pursuit of the Port Elisabeth native. It now looks as though their campaign has proven successful.
In more bad news for Munster, defence coach, Jacques Nienaber, who was also lauded by Scannell in April, is likely to follow Erasmus out the door, despite reportedly being offered the head coach role.