Cape Town - Rassie Erasmus says he has started "playing around" with who should succeed him as Springbok head coach in 2020.
Erasmus, currently in year two of a six-year deal with SA Rugby, has been serving as both the head coach of the national team as well as the country's Director of Rugby since Allister Coetzee was sacked at the end of the 2017 international season.
Since taking that dual role in 2018, Erasmus has been open about the fact that he was only ever meant to serve as coach until the completion of this year's World Cup in Japan.
From 2020, the Boks can expect a new man at the helm while Erasmus will look to steer the ship from his position as Director of Rugby.
Listening to the former Bok flank talk on Tuesday, it is clear that he has researched plans in place that aim to secure the future of South African rugby.
Wearing his Director's cap, Erasmus has been at the heart of a new contracting model that will seek to widen the pool of contracted SA Rugby players beyond the World Cup while letting go of some of those who demand more exorbitant earnings.
It is a system that is likely to see many of the county's top players move abroad in the search of more lucrative pay cheques, but Erasmus believes the long-term succession plan is what will ultimately benefit the South African game.
Erasmus clearly has game-changing ideas in terms of how the South African rugby model should operate, but he has also started thinking about who his successor will be next year.
"It's begun in my head and I've shared some ideas with
the steering committee that I report to. There are certainly a few names that
we've bounced around," the current head coach said.
"If we can find a way to sort out the succession
planning in terms of players in South Africa, then I think the next step will be
to get a proper succession plan in terms of coaches."
Erasmus also pointed to the fact that the landscape in South African rugby was changing and that, in the future, there would be less professional players contracted by the unions.
"The moment you have less professional players, you
need less professional coaches," he said.
"We're planning it bit by bit.
"I've been playing around
with it (the next head coach) a bit in my head, but I'd be very stupid to mention it right now."
Some of the names that have been mentioned as possible Bok coaches in 2020 include Swys de Bruin, Jacques Nienaber and Deon Davids.