Munster confirm Erasmus will leave them in December

Munster confirm Erasmus will leave them in December

Munster have confirmed that Rassie Erasmus and Defence Coach Jacques Nienaber will leave the province at the end of December.

Erasmus will take over as South Africa's Director of Rugby.

Munster CEO Garret Fitzgerald says, while they understand Erasmus' reason to return, they are disappointed to see him and Nienaber both leave.

Fitzgerald says they are working with the IRFU to find a replacement.

Fitzgerald said: "Working closely with both I witnessed first-hand the work that they do, and we will always be grateful to Rassie for leading the squad through our most difficult time with the untimely passing of Axel.

"I believe we were very lucky in securing Rassie and Jacques in the first place, and we are thankful for the services of such experienced and knowledgeable coaching talent.

"Rassie succeeded in getting us back on track with much of the same personnel and when you see how far we have come and what we have gone through as a squad and organisation I am confident we will successfully manage the next stage. As a group we will be all the better for their input with Jerry and Felix now ready to step up to the next level.

"We have been in this position before, whereby our coach has been offered a national role and we are not going to stand in the way of someone in that regard. We understand Rassie's decision, and all parties are working together in managing the situation.

"I believe we are in a positive place and I don't think there will be any doubts around what we can achieve and go on to do. We'll continue to learn from both coaches and progress with putting the structures and processes in place in making sure we are a side performing and competing at the highest level."

The Munster squad only returned on Tuesday to full-time training for the 2017-18 season but they were already braced for the departure of Erasmus and Nienaber in the wake of South African Rugby’s thinly-veiled pursuit of the former Springbok.

The pair joined Munster at the start of July 2016 and along with Jerry Flannery, Felix Jones and the late Anthony Foley, guided the squad to a Guinness PRO12 final and Champions Cup semi-final.

Both Flannery and Jones have already committed their future to the Irish province.

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