Rassie Erasmus is going all in on the Springboks’ chances to contend for rugby’s World Cup in Japan next year.
Erasmus, a former Springbok himself, was hired as the new coach of South Africa on Thursday. He replaces Allister Coetzee who was sacked following two struggle-filled years as coach.
“I’m privileged. It’s a huge task to coach the Springboks,” Erasmus said. “I really believe we have the players and the rugby to turn things around and to mount a serious challenge at the RWC… but it comes down to how quickly we can align the players’ and the coaches’ thinking. “
The Boks will have the opportunity to work towards that goal when they face off against Wales in a June 2 match in the United States. They return home to host England for three contests.
“I know it looks like suicide from the outside, but it is an extra test to prepare for the World Cup,” Erasmus said of the match in the United States.
“We will have to juggle a bit and be creative because we play England at altitude at Ellis Park the following week, but I have my plans in place.
“It would be foolish to think you could have one squad go there and then be competitive against the second best team in the world.”
South Africans welcomed the development and hope Erasmus revives the Springboks’ fortunes after the team fell from fifth to sixth in the most recent world rankings