Outgoing Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus received a rousing send-off as the Irish club claimed a resounding 49-6 win over the Dragons in Cork on Friday.
Erasmus is soon set to take up a new post as SA Rugby director of rugby, now that former Bok assistant coach Johann van Graan has been officially named as his successor.
Erasmus’ SA Rugby appointment was confirmed back on June 30, but there was the possibility that he may have to serve out his contract at Munster, which was to officially end on December 31.
However, there was always the likelihood that Erasmus would be relieved of his contractual obligations as soon as Munster had found a suitable replacement, which has now proved to be the case.
Erasmus will hand over to Van Graan during the upcoming Pro14 break, and while he may spend a little more time in Ireland to ease the transition, Friday's clash against the Dragons was his last as Munster boss.
As Erasmus prepared for his departure along with defence coach Jacques Nienaber - who will also be returning to South Africa - he received high praise from a host of players who acknowledged his coaching influence.
In turn, Erasmus said he would certainly miss the culture of professionalism at Munster.
"I will miss the Irish people. It is very hard to leave Ireland and to leave Munster specifically. People have been good to us here. To me and my family and to Jacques Nienaber and his family. On behalf of him I would like to thank everyone. He doesn't always get the opportunity to talk to the media,” said Erasmus.
"He certainly feels the same way. We are staying together for the last week. We are in the same house. Our wives and families have already gone back to South Africa. We had have a lot to talk about and to ponder and sometimes to feel sorry for ourselves and stuff like that."
Erasmus may certainly also miss the opportunity to work with former Kings flank Chris Cloete, who made an impressive impact in his debut appearance at openside flank against the Dragons.
Cloete featured for South Africa A against the French Barbarians in June, and was widely regarded as a potential Bok contender, but he has now joined Munster after recently completing his Currie Cup duties with the Pumas.
African News Agency