Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Rassie's role confirmed 2 May
Wellington - Western Province senior professional coach Rassie Erasmus will almost certainly be joining the Springbok management at the World Cup - but we will have to wait until the planning meeting scheduled for May before the appointment can be confirmed or his role specified.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers did not name a management team on Wednesday in Wellington as anticipated, but he gave a broad hint that the media speculation surrounding Erasmus' appointment to the management was on the money. "The speculation is pretty accurate but I don't like to confirm anything until a contract has been physically signed," said De Villiers when asked of Erasmus' pending appointment following the announcement of a 51-man planning squad in Wellington on Wednesday.
"So that is something you will have to wait until 2 May (the second day of the planning camp, when there is a press conference scheduled) to find out. But the speculation is not far off, it is just a case of him having to finalise it."
De Villiers said it was important for the Boks to have a fresh voice and fresh ideas coming from within the management after three years where the leadership group had remained unchanged.
"I had a meeting with (injured Springbok) Juan (Smith) yesterday and he said you can't expect to be hearing the same voices and ideas after four years with different results and I agree with them. We need fresh energy."
Western Province officials have confirmed that they have agreed to release Erasmus on a temporary basis from his contract with the union "for the national good" but that he will be returning to WP after the World Cup.
It is unclear what other rugby figures may be lined up to join Erasmus in supplementing the existing management system but it is understood that the overtures to former Wallaby coach and Bok technical director Eddie Jones have fallen through on the basis that he could not see his way clear to take up a permanent position in South Africa.