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Wednesday Sep 13, 2023

Springbok legend backs Rassie to leave Boks for rivals post World Cup

Springbok icon Victor Matfield has done it all on the pitch. His resume across 127 tests for the Springboks is unparalleled, with a World Cup winners medal, two Tri-Nations titles and a British and Irish Lions series victory in 2009 being the key highlights.

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At club level, Matfield led the Blue Bulls to a first-ever South African Super Rugby title in 2007 before picking up two more titles in 2009 and 2010.

Thus, with so much credit in the bank, when the now 46-year-old 6’7″ legend speaks, people listen.

Joining Jim Hamilton, Andy Goode and Andy Rowe on the highly popular “Rugby Pod”. Matfield was asked about the reports that South African Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus could be departing SA Rugby following this year’s Rugby World Cup.

“It sounds like Rassie is going; he might stay for a few months just to get a few things in place.

“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.

The former Springbok captain then went on to discuss who he felt should take over should Erasmus depart.

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“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.

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“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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