In less than two years, Rassie Erasmus transformed the Springboks from a team in turmoil who were ranked sixth in the world to world champions.
Erasmus took over from Allister Coetzee at the beginning of 2018 in a dual role as both head coach and Director of Rugby.
It is expected that he will continue as Director of Rugby after the World Cup but that a head coach will be appointed to take the team forward.
However, Erasmus revealed in his post-match press conference that he came very close to resigning as head coach.
During his first year in charge, the Boks beat England 2-1 in a three-test series in June before going into a Rugby Championship campaign where they lost to Argentina and Australia back-to-back.
If South Africa lost a third game on the trot, against New Zealand in Wellington, Erasmus would have left his post.
“We had a lot of small targets where we tried to simulate matches, as there was only 18 test matches before the World Cup. Wellington (playing All Blacks) was like a quarter-final and let’s role play that.
“Then we lost to Australia and Argentina, and if we don’t win I will resign as I have never lost three games in a row as a coach and if I do that I don’t deserve being a Springbok coach. We played New Zealand in Wellington and that was important as if we would lose it I wouldn’t be here.”
The Springboks won that highly entertaining game 34-36 and who knew then that the result would prove vital in the lifting of the Webb Ellis trophy in Yokohama over 12 months later.