Cape Town - Rassie Erasmus does not expect to be serving as head coach of the national side by the time the British & Irish Lions tour South Africa in 2021.
Erasmus took over as head coach of the Springboks in 2018 after two testing years under Allister Coetzee, and at the time he signed a six-year contract with SA Rugby as their Director of Rugby.
Erasmus has had to double-up as head coach the past two years to prepare the Boks for the ongoing 2019 Rugby World Cup, but listening to him talk ahead of Sunday's semi-final against Wales, it sounds like Erasmus is sticking to the plan of employing another head coach after the tournament.
"I will be involved with the Lions tour as a Director of Rugby with SA Rugby," he told media in Yokohama.
"Depending on who is the head coach, the Director of Rugby role will definitely not be an office job, sitting behind a desk and thinking strategically.
"It will definitely be a more hands-on job, working very closely with the head coach."
Ironically, the British Lions will visit South Africa under Warren Gatland who will step down from his current Wales coaching role at the end of the World Cup.
"I will see him (Gatland) in the future," Erasmus added.
"We will definitely compete again, and it is always a pleasure competing with him because he is a gentleman on and off the field, and he deserves all the credit that goes his way."
Assuming Erasmus, in his Director of Rugby role, would want the new coach to take over well ahead of the British Lions' visit in mid-2021, that suggests the position could well be filled in the coming months.
Kick-off on Sunday is at 11:00 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones
Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard