Rugby Championship

Rassie opens up on challenges of dual role

2018-08-13 14:22
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo)

Cape Town - Rassie Erasmus has opened up on the challenges that come with being both the head coach and director of rugby of the Springboks.

Appointed as director of rugby on a six-year deal until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Erasmus has also had to take on the responsibility of being head coach in 2018 after Allister Coetzee was sacked.

It is a situation that has led many to believe that Erasmus is in the perfect position, without the pressures that his predecessors experienced. But, speaking from Durban on Monday, the 45-year-old helped explain his current situation. 

"I think people get it wrong when they say there is no pressure on me because I've got a six-year contract," he said.

"I cherish this job and think it's the most wonderful thing in the world, but you can't divorce the director of rugby and head coach job from each other at this stage because it's the same person.

"If I'm not successful as the head coach, then I'm also not successful as director of rugby. I'm not stupid enough to think you can divorce the two."

Erasmus went on to explain the balancing act he is seeking between the two roles. 

As head coach, he knows that results are crucial, but as director of rugby he has a responsibility to ensure that the Boks are in good shape to challenge at next year's World Cup in Japan.

"I'm not worried about the pressures of not doing well because I love the Springbok too much to worry about that," he said.

"I'm more worried about where we are going, with all things: building squad depth, trying to be a winning nation again and getting transformation right. I'm more worried that those things might fall off track along the way if one is not successful.

"On me losing my job ... I'll just try get another one if I have to. I would really like us to just continue what we're doing.

"It's a difficult balancing act. We know there are only 15 Test matches and we want to win as much as possible, but you also want to get them ready for the World Cup to have a realistic chance."

The Boks are in action on Saturday when they begin their Rugby Championship campaign against Argentina at Kings Park.

Kick-off is at 17:05.


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