Rassie Erasmus says he will only be in charge of the Springboks until the 2019 World Cup, where after he will continue in his other role as the director of rugby at Saru.
In an interview with SuperSport, which was aired on Saturday night, Erasmus was at pains to point out that he did not have a six-year contract as the Bok coach, and that he plans to step aside from the national team following the World Cup in Japan.
“It’s a six-year contract as director of rugby – not as head coach. I’m only head coach until the World Cup next year. And again, the six years – as I’ve said many times before – is not there to protect myself; it’s there to protect Saru,” Erasmus stated.
“We all know if I don’t perform as head coach or director of rugby, the people vote me out.
“And with all respect to my Exco, my CEO, if we don’t perform on the field in the various departments or the Springboks, then I will get fired.
“The Springbok head coach (job) is only until next year at the World Cup.”
Erasmus had a 50 percent win record in 2018, with seven victories in 14 Tests, which was slightly behind Allister Coetzee’s second year in charge in 2017, where the South Africans won seven out of 13 Tests, with two draws.
Erasmus said when he returned to SA from his job at Munster in Ireland, he thought Coetzee would continue to guide the Boks.
“When I was appointed as the director of rugby, at that stage, I thought Allister Coetzee was still continuing. But the leadership decided that Allister should step down, and they asked me to take it,” he said.
“For somebody from the outside to all of a sudden have just 18 Test matches to prepare the team for the World Cup, I didn’t think that would be fair to that coach – it would’ve been a suicide job.
“And for myself, who’s been in the position before (as director), it made sense to ask me.
“Obviously the flagship of SA Rugby is the Springboks. That was the first stop that we had to fix – the previous year, the only teams we beat were Italy, France and Argentina.”
Mr Alexander also congratulated Rassie Erasmus and the Springboks on their nominations (Coach and Team of the Year): “We are happy with the resurgence of the Boks under Rassie Erasmus and we believe we are heading in the right direction, as is evident by these nominations." pic.twitter.com/pO79sCUFCz— South African Rugby (@Springboks) November 26, 2018