Morgan Bolton: Rassie knows where he will be in 2023. Do you?

JOHANNESBURG – Rassie Erasmus knows where he will be in 2023. Some of us don’t even know what we will have for breakfast tomorrow.

On Thursday, Erasmus was named as coach of the Springboks - a widely known ‘secret’ since his affirmation as Saru’s director of rugby last year.

It is a bold decision by the South African rugby powers to give him such an extended stay and many would argue that he does not deserve such privilege. Many others would attest otherwise.

A quick look at his rugby coaching credentials will reveal justified concerns. Since becoming a coach in the mid-2000s, he has won only one coaching honour - the Currie Cup in 2006, although he was highly praised while at Munster and won the Coach of the Year award in the then Pro12 in the 2016 season there.

It would seem we as the rugby public must now once again place our trust in an untested vision, although his appointment for such an extended period of time could bring much needed consistency and clarity in purpose, planning and insight.

Rassie Erasmus has been appointed for an unprecedented five years as coach of the Springboks.Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Erasmus was appointed as coach of the Springboks for 5 years. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

His five year tenure will be a long one.

In that period, he will bear witness to the general election in South Africa next year and Donald Trump’s attempt to win a second term in the Oval Office a year later, while Brexit, as triggered by Article 50, will have become a reality.

In 2020 the Tokyo Summer Olympics will take place and two years later Erasmus can enjoy the controversial Qatar World Cup, his second Fifa World Cup in charge of the Boks. The highest building in the world, the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia will have been completed, reaching a kilometer into the heavens.

Locally, the square Kilometer Array radio telescope will have begun its initial observations, while our understanding of Dark Energy and its elusive counterpart, Dark Matter, will have been improved by leaps and bounds through the Euclid space probe and a massive upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider.

And speaking of space, launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will reach the end of their illustrious data collection when their power systems finally fail.

They are destined to speed through the cosmos for all eternity. Elon Musk will be well on his way making colonisation of Mars a reality by launching the BFR Spaceship towards the red planet.

India, meanwhile, will conduct its first manned space mission, while more earthbound, Erasmus will be preparing to take on the British and Irish Lions.

Mind you, all this is even before Erasmus and his Boks begin even considering the strategies to be employed at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Before that he will still experience the 80th anniversaries of the outbreak of World War II and the Attack on Pearl Harbour. If he switches on the telly on February 5, 2022, if it so catches his fancy and if she is still reigning, he can watch the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Turkey might finally know if it is a member of the European Union.

And those are just a handful of events we can predict. 

Who knows what the future holds us and for Erasmus and Co?

Morgan Bolton


The Star

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