South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander endorsed Rassie Erasmus’s appointment as the coach to take the Springboks to the 2019 World Cup.
Erasmus this past week has been vocal about the lack of results in Mendoza against the Pumas and against Australia in Brisbane. He told the media that he would be judged on results and another defeat against the All Blacks could see him lose his job.
Alexander, speaking to Keo.co.za, said regardless of this weekend’s result in Wellington against the All Blacks, there remained no doubt among SARU’s leadership that Erasmus was the right appointment to build a Springbok squad capable of winning the 2019 World Cup.
‘There has to be perspective. We won a series against a very good England squad. We scored six tries against the Pumas in South Africa and the team created enough opportunities to beat the Wallabies in Brisbane. Mendoza was a disappointment for everyone but the performance in Brisbane was vastly improved,’ said Alexander.
‘Rassie was appointed because of the detail in his plan to build a squad that could be realistic challengers at the World Cup.
‘We knew there would be hiccups along the way. The World Cup remains the pinnacle in this plan.
Alexander also said there had to be realism in relation to expectation and the subsequent judgement of that expectation.
‘The All Blacks have consistently been the number one team in the world. Their record at home is unrivalled and this year they have put 40 points past the Wallabies and 46 past the Pumas.
‘The Springboks have never won at Westpac Stadium. It would require a history-making effort to get the win. I know the belief within the squad is such that Saturday could be that glory evening but the making of Rassie Erasmus as the Springbok coach won’t be in a victory or defeat on Saturday evening.
‘Rassie’s legacy as a coach will be balanced against what the Springboks can produce at the 2019 World Cup and we trust everything in his plan over the next year to get the Springboks into a position of strength and World Cup tournament contenders.