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Rassie addresses rumours pointing towards move to Ireland

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Monday Sep 18, 2023

Victor Matfield recently joined Jim Hamilton, Andy Goode, and Andy Rowe on the widely acclaimed podcast, “Rugby Pod.” During the podcast, he addressed the speculation surrounding the potential departure of South African Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, from Springbok Rugby following this year’s Rugby World Cup.

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“It sounds like Rassie is going; he might stay for a few months just to get a few things in place,” he said at the time.“But knowing Rassie and knowing Jacques (Nienaber), those two do everything together, so I think the chance of him going to Ireland must be 90-95%,” Matfield said, as Nienaber has already confirmed that he will be joining Irish provincial side Leinster.

These comments from Matfield have been quickly silenced by Erasmus, with the Springbok DOR stating: “No no, no, I won’t be. There’s no talks. There’s no truth in that. I’m not sure where it’s come from but I definitely haven’t chatted to them (IRFU). I’m definitely not following Jacques.”

Erasmus has not, however, ruled out a move away from his current position, leading to speculation about who would take over.

“If Rassie had stayed, I would have said one of his assistants could’ve taken over the head coaching role. “If he doesn’t stay, it should be someone from outside.”

Listing the options, Matfield discussed two men who have previously coached in South Africa but are now based overseas.

“Johan Ackermann has been coaching in Japan and must have a good chance. I am a big fan, and I know he is not a favourite at Munster, but he is doing really well in Bath at the moment, and that is Johan van Graan. He has been with the Boks as an assistant coach for six to eight years, so he knows the structures, and I see him as a guy who can take over as well,” Matfield concluded.

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