Venter urges Boks to secure Erasmus
January 13, 2012
Rassie Erasmus worked alongside Springboks coach Peter de Villiers during the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand © Getty Images
Erasmus, who served as a consultant with the Springboks during last year's Rugby World Cup, recently quit as senior coach at the Western Province Rugby Union citing "a number of new opportunities at a higher level". However, he has since dismissed reports linking him to the Boks sparking fears that one of the best rugby brains in the country could be lost to South Africa.
The South African Rugby Union are currently interviewing candidates for the Boks post in the wake of a disappointing World Cup campaign that ended with a quarter-final defeat to Australia and the General Council are expected to ratify an appointment on January 27. Incumbent Peter de Villiers is among those vying for the job with Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal and former Bulls and Leicester boss Heyneke Meyer reportedly in the running.
Erasmus has also been linked with a high-profile switch to England as part of Nick Mallett's coaching team should the latter be recruited by the Rugby Football Union later this year to take over from interim head coach Stuart Lancaster. And Venter, who took charge of South Africa's U20s side two months ago, believes it would be a big mistake to let Erasmus head overseas.
"It is essential that Rassie gets involved with a national team in some way or form," said Venter, who combines his U20s role with his duties at Premiership side Saracens. "Rassie is very bright, he is committed and puts good systems in place. The alternative is he is going to coach England with Nick Mallett and I just think we can't allow that."
Speaking to EWN Sport in Cape Town, Venter insisted that Erasmus, who embarked on a trip to Europe this week to explore career options, has already had a positive impact on the Boks and that relationship should be extended.
"He has already worked with the guys in this World Cup and they were very good in the World Cup, we didn't win the World Cup because we were not good, we just had the weirdest, unluckiest day in history," he said. "So there's been a massive improvement in our Springbok team. I don't even think it should be an issue. I think SA Rugby should just sit down and make sure Rassie Erasmus stays in the system."
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