Rassie Erasmus is widely regarded as one of the finest rugby brains in the world.

Former Springbok captain and WP Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has been appointed as General Manager: High Performance teams and will as such be seconded to Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks when they are in camp.

That was one of the announcements made at the SA Rugby media conference in Pretoria, where it was confirmed that the SA Rugby Union (Saru) have entered into formal negotiations with Bulls forwards coach Johann van Graan, former Springbok fullback and Blue Bulls backline coach Ricardo Loubscher, Bulls defence coach John McFarland and Bulls conditioning coach Basil Carzis.

The appointment of Erasmus and especially his involvement with the Springbok team was welcomed by Meyer.

“Rassie’s inputs to the Springboks last year were lauded by everyone I spoke to and his coaching pedigree speaks for itself, considering the vast amount of success he’s had at the Cheetahs and Western Province,” said Meyer.

“I’m excited to have him on board and I know he will add value to rugby in South Africa, which is ultimately what his job will be."

“It wasn’t easy,” said Saru CEO Jurie Roux of the negotiations to obtain the services of the four Bulls assistant to Meyer.

“It’s no secret that the negotiations around the Springbok assistant coaches positions have taken longer than we had hoped, but we want to give Heyneke the team that he sees as the best for doing the job.”

Although the above mentioned management assistants are still in negotiations with Saru, it is clearly accepted that they will be on board for the three-Test series against England from June 9.

“We’ve worked very hard behind the scenes to secure their services to Springbok rugby. An announcement in this regard will be made very soon,” said Roux.

The loss of the four coaches to the Bulls will be lessened as they will be released to continue their work with the Bulls until the end of the Super Rugby season when they are not involved with the Springboks.

Meyer’s wishes for continuity with the Springbok management was also agreed to and three members of the Springbok medical team from the last four years, Dr Craig Roberts (team doctor), Vivian Verwant (physiotherapist) and Daliah Hurwitz (masseuse) have been re-appointed.

The rest of the management team will consist of Charles Wessels (Operational Head), Annelee Murray (PR and Admin Manager), JJ Fredericks (Logistics), Albé Visser (Technical Analyst) and De Jongh Borchardt (Communications Manager).

Meyer said he wanted to thank Saru for their endeavours to provide him with the management he requested.

“I have worked closely with most of the people while others have come very highly regarded and I’m confident the Springboks will benefit from their involvement.

"We will work well together as a team and will hit the ground running in the short turnaround for the first Test against England.”

Roux said that Saru would also like to secure the services of Cheetahs conditioning coach Niel du Plessis, former Springbok flyhalf and Paarl Gymnasium Director of Sport, Louis Koen, former French prop Pieter de Villiers and Ian Schwartz, High Performance Manager of the Blue Bulls. – Sapa