The Springboks have travelled to Queensland, Australia without director of rugby Rassie Erasmus for the remainder of the Rugby Championship.
South Africa left Cape Town aboard the same flight as Argentina’s rugby team yesterday to travel to the Australian state of Queensland, where the last four rounds of the premier southern hemisphere tournament will be held.
Erasmus, who relinquished his role as head coach in order to focus on his director of rugby role with the Springboks after their Rugby World Cup triumph in 2019, has remained in South Africa.
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 26, 2021
‘He may join us later in the tour.’
Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber was speaking ahead of his side’s remaining Rugby Championship games and explained that Erasmus didn’t travel to allow the team to “focus” on the tournament.
“Rassie has decided to remain in South Africa for now to allow the focus around the team to remain on the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and the team itself so that they can perform to the best of their ability on the field,” Nienaber said.
“He will continue to play active role in our team and coaches meetings throughout the tour, and schedule permitting, he may join us later in the tour.”
Rassie Erasmus’ recent roles with the Springboks.
Erasmus has been heavily involved with the Springboks this year despite assuming the role of South Africa’s director of rugby, which has widened his remit beyond just South Africa’s senior men’s team.
The World Cup-winning coach was very much at the centre of the test series with the British and Irish Lions and has even acted as the Springboks’ water carrier on a number of occasions this year.
While he has been a central figure in the Springboks’ camp, Erasmus is currently awaiting a World Rugby disciplinary hearing for the video he made which publicly criticised the match officials from the first Lions test.
Nienaber’s comments seem to suggest that the current controversy surrounding Erasmus’ disciplinary hearing was a major factor in his decision not to travel, as he could be suspended from Springboks’ matches under World Rugby’s regulation 18.