Rassie stays put — for now

Rassie Erasmus will coach the Vodacom Cheetahs until the end of the 2008 season.

Following Erasmus’s success over the last two years, which has seen the Cheetahs win back to back Absa Currie Cup titles, questions have been asked how the Free State Rugby Union can hope to hold on to their greatest asset.

Free State president Harold Verster told keo.co.za that Erasmus wasn’t going anywhere for the moment.

“I’m sure there are a number of teams that would love to have Rassie as their coach, but he has a contract with us until the end of 2008,” he said. “He is on a three year contract, and while he coached the Cheetahs in 2005, his contract only began this year.”

However, Verster admitted Erasmus could leave the union at the end of the 2007 World Cup, if he is appointed Springbok coach.

“We will have to see what happens after the World Cup,” he said. “But there is a chance he could get the job.”

When SA Rugby magazine interviewed Verster for a special report on the Cheetahs in June last year, he spoke of his great dream – to see the Cheetahs win the Currie Cup in front of a full house in Bloemfontein. While he was just three minutes away from realising that dream last weekend, when the Cheetahs led 25-18 against the Bulls, he was satisfied with the 28-all draw.

“We had an fantastic season,” he said. “The atmosphere last Saturday was incredible, I had never seen Bloemfontein like that before. We won the Currie Cup last year and shared it this year, and for a union of our size that’s an amazing achievement.”

By Simon Borchardt