JOHANNESBURG – Rassie Erasmus has said he will have a “good think” about the now vacant role of attack consultant in the Springbok team following the shock resignation from the position by Swys de Bruin yesterday.
The regular Lions head coach stood down from his Bok position just a month out from the Rugby World Cup in Japan, citing “medical and personal reasons” and confirmed to The Star “his tank was empty”.
De Bruin had filled the role of attack specialist since last year and had been given special leave by his regular employers, the Lions, to work alongside Erasmus in the Springbok team. De Bruin also temporarily left his Lions position in April, while the team were on tour in New Zealand, because of stress and pressure.
Erasmus said it was “unfortunate” that De Bruin could not continue in his role with the Bok team, especially as it is so close to the World Cup.
“It’s an unfortunate one,” said Erasmus yesterday, just days out from the Boks’ last home Test before boarding the plane to Japan. They take on Argentina in what is being called the Farewell Test in Pretoria in Saturday.
“When it’s one’s personal life, be it health or religion, or family that always comes first. In this case it’s a health issue. Swys told us he can’t be with us anymore, so it’s sad. I know he wants to be with us, but one’s personal life comes first. I hope he recovers as soon as possible.
“It’s short notice, and something we didn’t expect. He left us after the New Zealand game and we carried on without him in the last week in New Zealand and in the build-up to last week’s Test in Argentina. We thought he’d join us again, but that hasn’t happened. We’ve missed him; not just his rugby brain, but his personality as well.”
Erasmus said he’d consult with his coaching team and the senior players before deciding on whether to appoint a temporary attack coach or continue without one.
“I’ll wait for this week’s match to be over before deciding on what’s best going forward. I’ll look at our options, and chat to the players who’re on leave. I’ve got a lot to think about and would be stupid to make a call now. I’ll have a good think after the game.”
The full Bok squad will participate in a week-long training camp in Bloemfontein next week.@jacq_west