Rassie Erasmus has talked up his successor as Munster coach as a ‘master of many trades’ and reiterated that he will delay his own return to South Africa until Johann van Graan is ready to take over.
Frikkie Erasmus, Erasmus’ lawyer, said last week that the Munster director of rugby would be home in his native land to begin his new role with the South African rugby union by November 1.
The man himself wasn’t nearly so definitive after yesterday’s draw in France.
Yet again, he explained that he would stay in Limerick until van Graan’s work permit situation has been processed and the new man has his feet firmly under his new desk.
Erasmus knows van Graan well. He phoned his successor last Friday to pass on his congratulations and stressed yesterday that Munster had done exceptionally well to land someone who is so highly-rated after his work with both the Bulls and the Boks.
“Listen, he will bring work ethic, a hell of a lot of experience and he is used to pressure situations.
“He is a guy that coached two weeks ago when they lost 57-0 against the All Blacks and he was one of the guys that tried to turn it around the next week.
“He has won three Super Rugby titles as an assistant coach.
“He has experience across the range, from attack to defence, and he is a very good analyst. He is a wonderful attacking coach and he will add a lot to the lineout work that Jerry (Flannery) is doing.
“He is the master of all, if I can put it that way.”
Confusion has been a constant when it comes to the exact time of Erasmus’ departure but he has been consistent in his desire to stay on as long as required and he can make van Graan’s new job much easier by claiming a win against Racing 92 in Limerick next Saturday.
Lose to a Racing side that he admits will “have their tails up” after an opening defeat of Leicester Tigers in Paris on Saturday night and the new boss will face into an unenviable first few months with a Munster side scrambling for European survival.
“We don’t necessarily have to win next week,” said Erasmus.
“We have to try and win next week. We are trying as hard as we can. If he comes in here after two losses he is the type of guy to sort it out.
“That’s why he has been brought in here. We would like to have him in a nice position, a nice soft landing. We will try our best, like we did today, and we got a draw.
“He will get stuck in there and find a way. He is a really good coach.”
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