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Report: Rassie Erasmus In Line For Shock Return To Ireland

Report: Rassie Erasmus In Line For Shock Return To Ireland
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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He remains a divisive figure - especially in Ireland - but Rassie Erasmus also remains one of the best coaches in world rugby.

The Springboks' Director of Rugby has not only made a name for himself by his success with the South African national team, but also for his hot-headed aggression towards referees - which came to a head during the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour.

Despite the somewhat dotted reputation created by his antics off the pitch, Erasmus is a World Cup winning head coach, having led the Boks to victory in Japan in 2019.

He will once again be involved in their World Cup effort this year, as the former Munster coach travels to France with the South Africa team, where he will be reunited with Ireland in the group stages.

If recent reports are to be believed, however, Erasmus may be in line for a surprising return to these shores in the coming years.

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Ireland: Rassie Erasmus in contention for major IRFU role

3 November 2017; Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus ahead of the Guinness PRO14 Round 8 match between Munster and Dragons at Irish Independent Park in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Reports in South Africa on Wednesday suggest that Rassie Erasmus is being considered by the IRFU as a potential replacement for performance director David Nucifora. Nucifora is expected to leave his role before the end of 2024, and he will leave a major gap in the Ireland setup.


SA Rugby Mag report that Erasmus is being actively pursued by the IRFU, with the South African seen as a "strong candidate." Erasmus is contracted to SA Rugby until 2025 at least.


Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber is set to leave his role after this year's Rugby World Cup. Nienaber has been confirmed as Stuart Lancaster's replacement at Leinster, in an exciting appointment for the province.

Nienaber and Erasmus previously worked together in Ireland during an 18-month spell with Munster, which saw them lead the province to the 2017 Pro12 final with Erasmus as head coach.

Erasmus has had numerous notable incidents surrounding criticism of match officials, the most recent of which came when he launched a scathing takedown of the officiating team after South Africa lost to Ireland in Dublin last November.


The peak of his questionable antics, however, came in 2021, when he was banned from rugby for two months for his criticism of referees during the Lions' tour of South Africa - a series in which Erasmus managed to guide his side to victory.

Another name mentioned in the SA Rugby Mag report who has previously been mentioned elsewhere as a potential replacement for David Nucifora is former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Since 2022, Schmidt has been the attack coach with the All Blacks, having left his role with Ireland after a disappointing 2019 World Cup.

Any potential return of Rassie Erasmus to these shores - or Joe Schmidt, for that matter - would certainly raise a few eyebrows.


SEE ALSO: England Star Experienced Unfortunate Slip Of Tongue On Lack Of Owen Farrell Punishment

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