WP senior professional coach Rassie Erasmus has resigned and will explore other coaching options.
The news of Erasmus’s resignation broke on Monday night. Die Burger reported that the Cape coaching guru had already informed his employers of his decision to leave, and that Erasmus has been offered coaching jobs at clubs in England and France.
On Tuesday, Erasmus himself confirmed that he would be leaving Western Province and the Stormers at the end of January.
‘The pieces are in place at Province,’ he said via a statement. ‘Over the past few seasons we have put the structures in place and they are working well.
‘The management team and player base is settled and there are now a fantastic bunch of youngsters pushing the older guys hard. The squad is very close to taking that final step and winning silverware.
‘My job is largely done here and there is no doubt in my mind that Allister [Coetzee], Matt [Proudfoot], Fleckie [Robbie Fleck] and the rest of the management and players have got what it takes to get there.’
Erasmus admitted that he has been offered other coaching opportunities.
‘There are a number of new opportunities that have surfaced at a higher level and I am currently considering my options. Each is an exciting and massive new challenge, and that is a big attraction to me at this stage of my career.
‘In the interim I have offered to continue to assist at Province whenever required. I have enjoyed my time here in the Cape immensely and feel that I have contributed to facilitating building the structures that have taken us to the brink of success.
‘I have no doubt that that success is but a tiny step away now and I leave Province satisfied with the strides made. I am grateful to Province for the opportunity and Newlands, the Stormers, WP and the Faithful will always have a special place in my heart.’
It has been suggested that Erasmus’s decision to leave came as a shock to his WP bosses, but managing director Rob Wagner moved to dispel the rumours. According to Wagner, the union was waiting for the right time to announce his departure.
‘Rassie has made a huge contribution at WP. We are obviously very sorry to see him go, but understand his desire for new challenges.
‘Rassie has been very good in keeping us informed of his decision and we have been waiting for the return of our senior players and team management before making the announcement. We understand that he is a big loss but we are also confident that the structures, players, coaching and management staff and the plans in place at all levels in the Province, are strong enough to allow us to make that final jump and secure the silverware that we are all working towards.’
Having served as technical advisor to the Boks in 2007 and again for the duration of the 2011 World Cup, Erasmus was mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching post in 2012. However, it’s since emerged that Gert Smal is the favourite to succeed Peter de Villiers.
The new Bok coach will be officially appointed on 27 January. If Erasmus doesn’t take up a post overseas at a club or Test nation, he could possibly join the Bok coaching team again.