After weeks of speculation that Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus would return to South Africa in the summer, hooker Niall Scannell has confirmed that Erasmus will stay at Munster beyond the end of the season.
Speaking at Munster's post-match press conference after a disappointing defeat to European champions Saracens in their Champions Cup semi-final, Scannell revealed that Erasmus recently told his Munster squad that he'll remain at the province.
Scannell also shed some light on what Erasmus told his players after today's defeat.
Scannell on Rassie Erasmus future
There's been a lot speculation, but he clarified to us a few weeks ago. And I'll be honest with you, at the time it was reassuring to hear because himself, Jacques [Nienaber], Felix [Jones] and Fla [Jerry Flannery], they're a top quality coaching ticket and they've done so much for us.
Obviously Axel had a big hand in that, but if you just look at the turnaround we've had in nine, 10 months... I can't speak highly enough for what a good coach Rassie is.
It's brilliant that he's staying around. It's brilliant for our club and it's brilliant for Irish rugby. The confidence it's given us, it's something I haven't had from a coach before.
He comes into the changing room afterwards saying: look, they're further along their curve and they were the better team today. You trust him and you believe that we will evolve and we will get there and that's hugely reassuring that he's staying around.
Erasmus himself admitted Saracens were on another level, and suggested Munster might be "closer" to the two-time European champions in a year's time.
News that he'll remain at the province, however, will come as a relief to Munster supporters and players alike considering their turn in fortunes under his stewardship.