Rugby | Erasmus will leave Munster in December

Rugby | Erasmus will leave Munster in December

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and defence coach Jacques Nienaber will leave Munster in December.

Erasmus guided the province Pro12 final and Champions Cup semi-final last season after taking the helm following the tragic death of Axel Foley, but will return to South Africa to take over the Springboks.

The 44 year old is a former Springbok captain, and was previously the general manager of the team.

Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones will take up the roles of forwards and backs coach respectively, but no replacement director of rugby has yet been named.

“With the squad and management returning for preseason this week we can today confirm that Rassie and Jacques will return to South Africa.,” Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said.

“While we understand Erasmus’ reason to return to his home country for an opportunity as the national director of rugby we are disappointed to see him and Jacques both leave.

“Working closely with both I witnessed first-hand the work that they do, and we will always be grateful to Rassie for leading the squad through our most difficult time with the untimely passing of Axel (Anthony Foley).

“I believe we were very lucky in securing Rassie and Jacques in the first place, and we are thankful for the services of such experienced and knowledgeable coaching talent.

“Rassie succeeded in getting us back on track with much of the same personnel and when you see how far we have come and what we have gone through as a squad and organisation I am confident we will successfully manage the next stage.

“As a group we will be all the better for their input with Jerry and Felix now ready to step up to the next level.

“We have been in this position before, whereby our coach has been offered a national role and we are not going to stand in the way of someone in that regard.

“We understand Rassie’s decision, and all parties are working together in managing the situation.”

Munster returned to full-time training Tuesday for the 2017-18 season.

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