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Rugby

22nd Jan 2017

Munster fans may be worried by South African reports about Rassie Erasmus

In demand

Patrick McCarry

Munster are flying right now and Rassie Erasmus is getting a lot of the credit. It is richly deserved.

The southern province are second in the Guinness PRO12 with a game in hand on Ospreys and they have secured a home quarter final in the Champions Cup. Since the tragic passing of Anthony Foley in October, Munster have won 11 competitive games from 12.

Erasmus, Jacques Nienaber and his wider coaching team have reinvigorated a side that needed a final day win over Scarlets to squeak into this season’s Champions Cup. The South African’s influence over Munster’s upturn in fortunes was lauded, last night, by Racing 92 assistant coach Ronan O’Gara:

“I think what’s really important is to realise where you have come from and their level of progress in four months has been astounding, and Rassie takes most of the credit for that because he has really made this place a fortress again.

“There is a pep in their step. Their players are really performing well, they’re hungry and it means a lot to them to play for Munster.”

It will cause many a Munster heart to flutter, then, when they learn of SuperSport reports that South African’s rugby union [SARU] are lining up Erasmus as a replacement for current Springboks coach Allister Coetzee.

The South African broadcaster has suggested SARU would be more than willing to buy Erasmus and Nienaber out of the remaining two years of their Munster contracts. Coetzee’s reign as Springboks head coach has been forgettable. The southern hemisphere giants were thumped twice by New Zealand last year and lost to Ireland, Wales and Italy too.

However, Erasmus’ lawyer Frikkie Erasmus has dismissed the job links. He told rugby365:

“Rassie has a contract with Munster and won’t come here to talk to people while he is doing so well at Munster.

“He is very happy in Ireland and he doesn’t have the interference there that happens here in South Africa. He has a long stint to go on what is a very good contract.”

Munster supporters will be eager to hang onto the man who has revived their rugby fortunes in less than nine months.

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