Coach profile: Rassie Erasmus

Luke Baker
02 May 2017

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In his first season as director of rugby Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus has guaranteed Munster a place at the Guinness PRO12 semi-finals.

The South African has guided the Irish side to second in the PRO12 table behind Leinster ahead of the final round of games – with Scarlets also assured of their place and the final play-off spot to be decided with Ospreys and Ulster fighting it out.

In a playing career that spanned eight years, Erasmus played for the Free State Cheetahs and the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup, and for the Cats and the Stormers in the Super 12. He was captain of the Cats, leading them to the 2000 Super 12 semi-finals.

The former flanker won 36 caps for the Springboks and made his debut during the 1997 British and Irish Lions tour in a 35-16 win and then scored a try in his second cap against Australia. He went on to captain South Africa in 1999.

After retirement, Erasmus moved into coaching and guided the Cheetahs to Currie Cup glory in 2005 – their first Currie Cup title since 1976.

The following year, his Cheetahs side shared the Currie Cup trophy with the Blue Bulls and he became the first-ever coach of the Cheetahs Super Rugby franchise when they were accepted into the Super 14 that year.

Erasmus was then appointed as general high-performance manager of South African Rugby before he signed a three-year deal with the Irish province.

He has impressed in his time with Munster – leading them to the semi-final of the Champions Cup this term – where they came up short against Saracens.

But has also guided them to 18 wins so far in the PRO12 – including victories in each of their last five games ahead of the weekend’s final regular season clash against Connacht,

Erasmus received huge praise for his leadership role at the club after the sudden death of head coach Anthony Foley in October.

And his work with Munster has not gone unnoticed back in his homeland with him being linked with the top job in South African rugby – although Erasmus has said he will honour his contract with the Red Army.

The Guinness PRO12 Final takes place on May 27 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Fans can guarantee their place by booking their tickets via

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