Rassie Erasmus will confirm his departure as head coach of Munster today, Examiner Sport understands.
The South African will return to his homeland as SARU director of rugby after a tumultuous season in charge at Thomond Park.
Erasmus will inform Munster players this morning, with the province looking to have his full-time replacement in place by the autumn.
Depending on how soon Erasmus leaves, Munster may proceed with an interim head coach for the time being.
The South African may even have a role in nominating his successor.
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 his defence coach, Jacques Nienaber in the wake of South African Rugby’s thinly-veiled pursuit of the former Springbok.
A report in the Afrikaan weekly newspaper Rapport stated that SARU have tasked Erasmus with getting the Springboks back on the same level as the All Blacks.
The report also claimed Erasmus’ original plan was to remain in Munster until 2019, but pressure was brought to bear last year after South Africa won only four of their 12 Tests in 2016.
“Saru has been trying to bring back Erasmus since December 2016,” it added. “Negotiations were very sensitive and several times threatened to derail. (But) Erasmus is keen to play a bigger role in Springbok rugby and it provoked him to return. He informed Munster two months ago that he resigned. According to his contract, he has to stay for another four months before he can return.”
Whether Munster opt to enforce the terms of the contract is a moot point, though indications are that Eramus will depart next month and will be installed as South African director of rugby by the time the Boks play their first Rugby Championship game against Argentina in August.
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