It has been confirmed by Munster this morning that Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus will leave the province in December.
It’s also been announced today that defence coach Jacques Nienaber will also be packing his bags as the pair assume new roles at South Africa Rugby. Erasmus will, according to the Springboks’ Twitter account, “oversee national teams, management of (competitions) and development of players, coaches and refs.” Nienaber has been handed the role of high-performance coach.
Munster fans may have been expecting the news for a while now but that clearly hasn’t softened the blow.
Wake up to the news that Rassie is off and two SA teams are joining the Pro 12 #ItsThePro12Fault
— MunsterBecks (@Beckinder) June 30, 2017
I don't mind Rassie leaving but to lose him and Nienaber at once and in December is a dose. Rotten time of year to changeover coaching staff
— Jim (@Robot_Rabbit) June 30, 2017
Rassie & Jacques leaving halfway through the season is very disruptive I feel…really disappointed after 2 months ago saying different ?
— Sinéad Ryan (@sineadryan91) June 30, 2017
Disappointed that Rassie and Jacques made the decision to leave in December instead of finishing out the season. But onwards and upwards.
— Charlotte McCarthy (@Charlotte_McC19) June 30, 2017
Rassie's replacement is arguably the most important appointment Munster have ever had to make. Massive strides taken in last 12 months.
— Neil Treacy (@neil_treacy) June 30, 2017
Terrible news for Munster. Can't blame Erasmus, but should've been handled in a significantly better manner.
— Steve Manning (@stevemanning15) June 30, 2017
Rassie leaving is bad enough but NIENABER TOO?!?!?!!??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Jack White (@JACK_SHITE) June 30, 2017
The search for the 44-year-old’s replacement can now officially begin and although a mid-season change will present its problems, it does allow the higher-ups at Thomond Park plenty of time to find the perfect man for the job.
Erasmus was responsible for one of the most unforgettable seasons in recent memory at Munster. Following the tragic death of Anthony Foley in October, Erasmus took over the province and guided them through a very difficult time. The team then went on a magnificent run of form that brought them to the European Champions Cup semi-final and the PRO12 final.