CAPE TOWN – The Saffa connection at Munster appears set to continue, with South African-born Dave Wessels reportedly in line to replace director of rugby Rassie Erasmus at the Irish club.
Wessels has been coaching at the Western Force since last year, but with the Perth-based franchise having been cut from Super Rugby, he is now expected to make a move to Munster.
The well-travelled coach has established himself as a highly respected coach in Australia and had also been linked with a move to the Rebels, but it now appears that he will instead take over as the top coach at Munster.
Erasmus is set to take up a role as SA Rugby’s new director of rugby once Munster have appointed his replacement, which could well happen within the next few weeks, with reports from Ireland suggesting Wessels has already been in Limerick recently for an interview.
In addition, Wessels has received the endorsement of Erasmus.
“I know him (Wessels) really well,” Erasmus told the Limerick Leader. “He was defence coach at the Brumbies, and then head coach at the Force. He is an intelligent guy, I can vouch for his character.
“The guys have asked my opinion about him and that is my involvement, just an opinion. I can vouch for his character. I worked with him and (know) his work ethic.”
Wessels served as a defensive consultant at the Stormers in 2008 and 2009, before working as an assistant coach with Varsity Cup side Ikey Tigers for three seasons.
However, Wessels then left South African rugby to take up a role with the Brumbies, where he worked with former Bok coach Jake White and was credited for playing a key role in the Canberra-based team’s revival.
Wessels could now continue the South African association with Munster, who have Springboks such as Marcell Coetzee, Jean Deysel and Jaco Taute on their books.
Erasmus has also been a highly popular figure at Munster along with defence guru Jacques Nienaber, but the duo will soon return to South African rugby.
Wessels is believed to have been on Munster’s short list for some time now, and his appointment increasingly appears to be a fait accompli.
African News Agency (ANA)