Rugby Championship

Rassie will 'add massive value' to Boks

2017-09-18 13:13
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Cape Town - The impending arrival of Rassie Erasmus as Springbok Director of Rugby has become noticeably more important following Saturday's 57-0 hammering at the hands of the All Blacks in Albany. 

Bok coach Allister Coetzee, who was just starting to gain some momentum in his role after a torrid opening year at the helm, is right back in the firing line after what was the worst defeat in Springbok history. 

There are positives to take from the loss, Coetzee says, and the Boks are still very much on the right track. But after another unwanted record for the Boks under Coetzee, there will be those who are now looking for Erasmus to get the Boks back to the competitive force they once were in time for the 2019 World Cup in Japan. 

Erasmus, the mastermind behind SA Rugby's highly-regarded 'Mobi-Unit' coaching structure, has been the Director of Rugby at Irish club Munster since the beginning of the 2016/17 European season. 

But from the beginning of next year he will be back in South Africa, seeking to propel the Boks to a place where they can challenge the All Blacks in Japan. 

It will be no easy task given the current state of the national side, but Leinster backline coach Girvan Dempsey believes that Erasmus is a man who can bring about significant change. 

"I think so," Dempsey said in Cape Town on Monday when asked if Erasmus could turn the situation around. 

"If you speak to the guys at Munster, he is highly regarded. He has put in place some impressive structures and you see how they've played after the last few seasons.

"I think he is going to add massive value to South African rugby."

Leinster are in the country on PRO14 duty where they have just beaten the Kings 31-10 in Port Elizabeth. 

They are now in Cape Town for a couple of days before jetting off to Bloemfontein for a clash against the Cheetahs. 

Dempsey, who was impressed by the intensity the Kings brought this past weekend, believes that the thrashing from the All Blacks does not undo the good work the Boks have done this year.

"It's evolving," he said of the international game.

"If you look at the way the game is globally, it's changing.

"If you look at South African rugby from an international perspective, taking last weekend out, it was in a really positive place and there was a lot of positive talk about how the team was performing.

"The Super Rugby sides are extremely competitive through the Stormers, Lions ... from that perspective it's a tough place to come and play.

"We're fortunate enough that we get out first. I think that other teams, as the season goes on, the Cheetahs and Kings are just going to get better and it's going to be even tougher to play out there."

The Cheetahs, meanwhile, recorded their first win in the PRO14 last weekend when they beat Italy's Zebre 54-39 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Follow Sport24 journalist @LloydBurnard on Twitter...


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