Rassie Erasmus keen to extend Jaco Taute’s Munster stay

Director of rugby believes South African is making contribution on and off the park

Jaco Taute scores his second try and Munster’s third in the victory over Leicester at Thomond Park. Photograph:   Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Jaco Taute scores his second try and Munster’s third in the victory over Leicester at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus hopes fellow Springbok Jaco Taute can be retained by the province beyond the end of his short-term contract that runs until January 1st.

“We don’t want a player here who blocks the development of young Irish players,” said Erasmus. “But if you look at a guy like Rory Scannell sitting next to Jaco and how he is developing. Sam Arnold is also experiencing that.

“It would be great to keep him. I have been thinking about that but Francis Saili is probably going to be ready for the Leinster game [on December 26th].”

Working off the previous IRFU decision regarding the refusal to allow Ulster to re-sign Ruan Pienaar, Taute will have to return to Western Province. Or, after some brilliant and powerful performances for Munster since arriving as injury cover for Saili, he will be snapped up by any number of European clubs.

The Ulster logic, that Pienaar makes indigenous scrumhalves better, will also be the Erasmus approach to chief decision maker David Nucifora.

“But if there is a real case for Jaco staying, helping to develop young backline players into Irish internationals, because there is no doubt he is performing on and off the field; he helps guys around him.

“I think he helps a lot with Tyler’s confidence and he helps a lot with Andrew Conway.

“I am thinking about it, to be honest with you, but I always have to put the Irish system as the most important thing.

“If it fits into the whole plan it would make sense.”

A compelling argument but Nucifora and the union ignored similar logic from Ulster.

“There are key decision makers who must agree with the plan, of course.”

Taute proved a magnificent decoy before grabbing a brace of tries in this 38-0 dismissal of an atrocious Leicester Tigers side.

“Cheer up folks it’s alright,” said Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill before getting serious: “That performance is unacceptable.”

“We bring them to Welford road next weeks and we must salvage some pride.”

Can Leicester turn it around in a week?

“Yes. Last year when we came here there was very much a negative vibe around the place. For obvious, tragic reasons they seem to have found the Munster of old.

“That was a great performance, great atmosphere.

“Look, I have seen the scoreboard: we got our arses smacked.

“When they come to Welford road next week we need to stick a stake in the ground. We need to meet them head on. I’ve no doubt it will be but that’s easy to see after being beaten by 38 points.”

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