It’s not an ideal situation, that’s for sure. Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber will both be returning to South Africa half way through the coming PRO14 season to take up positions with the Springboks.
A replacement for the duo has yet to be announced by Munster as the province conduct an extensive search to find someone who can build on the progress and good work which came from Erasmus and Nienaber’s brief tenure.
How this will impact on Munster’s season is anyone’s guess. Will the province wait until the end of the campaign to implement a new coaching ticket or will they bite the bullet and get someone from the outside to take over halfway through the season?
A report from Donn O’Sullivan, sports editor of the Limerick Leader, suggests that Munster and the IRFU are leaning towards offering Felix Jones an interim head coach role until the end of the season. This will allow Munster more time to find a new Director of Rugby who may likely take up the role in June of next year.
Jones is held in incredibly high esteem by Munster and the IRFU. He was invited by Joe Schmidt to help coach the Irish squad on their summer tour of the USA and Japan.
The former Munster and Ireland full-back looks set for a successful career in coaching but it is unlikely that he will be the ultimate solution due to his relative inexperience.
The report from the Limerick Leader also reveals some of the names in the running for the job – these include Western Force head coach David Wessels and current Bath coach Tabai Matson. Ireland and British and Irish Lions defence coach, Andy Farrell, remains the bookies favourite for the job, however.
Rassie Erasmus will be giving his first interview since the confirmation of his departure at the official launch of the PRO14 on Wednesday.