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The Springboks are set for a change of coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with Rassie Erasmus declaring he would step down from the role to focus more on his other roles within the sport.
Erasmus, who signed a six-year contract to become the director of rugby in South Africa, became head coach last year when Allister Coetzee was sacked by the board.
However, the role requires him to work more broadly across the sport, with focus on juniors, women’s teams and the Super Rugby teams – the Stormers, Sharks, Lions and Bulls.
Becoming coach of the Springboks has meant he has had to neglect some of those roles and, in an interview with SuperSport in South Africa, he said the six-year contract was only to be the director of rugby, not coach of the Springboks.
“I’m only head coach until the World Cup next year,” said Erasmus.
“At the stage when I was appointed Director of Rugby, I still thought Allister Coetzee was continuing.
“The leadership asked Allister to step down, and then asked me to step in.
“The moment I am finished with this and for the next six months, I will be involved with the other South African rugby structures a lot.”
Erasmus said the only reason he agreed to come on as coach was because it would have been unfair to bring someone in from the outside and ask them to prepare the side for the World Cup, labelling it a ‘suicide job.’
“For somebody from the outside to all of a sudden have just 18 Test matches to prepare the team for the World Cup, I didn’t think that would be fair to that coach. It would have been a ‘suicide job’. And for myself, who’s been in the position before, it made sense when they asked me.
The coach has had mixed results, with two out of four wins on their recent Spring Tour, but a solid Rugby Championship which finished with victories over both New Zealand and Australia.
It’s not known when a new coach will be announced for the Springboks, however, his first task with the side won’t be until 2020.