Rassie Erasmus to leave Munster at the end of December

Erasmus is set to take up the role of director of rugby with his native South Africa

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is to leave the province at the end of December.

Also leaving Thomond Park is defence coach Jacques Nienaber.

Erasmus, who guided Munster to the Champions Cup semi-final and Pro 12 final last season, is set to take the role of director of rugby with his native South Africa.

Munster are yet to name a replacement for Erasmus, but have confirmed Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones will take up the roles of forwards and backs coach.


A statement from Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald read: "With the squad and management returning for preseason this week we can today confirm that Rassie and Jacques will return to South Africa.

“While we understand Erasmus’ reason to return to his home country for an opportunity as the national director of rugby we are disappointed to see him and Jacques both leave. Working closely with both I witnessed first hand the work that they do, and we will always be grateful to Rassie for leading the squad through our most difficult time with the untimely passing of Axel (Anthony Foley).

“I believe we were very lucky in securing Rassie and Jacques in the first place, and we are thankful for the services of such experienced and knowledgeable coaching talent. Rassie succeeded in getting us back on track with much of the same personnel and when you see how far we have come and what we have gone through as a squad and organisation I am confident we will successfully manage the next stage. As a group we will be all the better for their input with Jerry and Felix now ready to step up to the next level.

“We have been in this position before, whereby our coach has been offered a national role and we are not going to stand in the way of someone in that regard. We understand Rassie’s decision, and all parties are working together in managing the situation.

“I believe we are in a positive place and I don’t think there will be any doubts around what we can achieve and go on to do. We’ll continue to learn from both coaches and progress with putting the structures and processes in place in making sure we are a side performing and competing at the highest level.”

More to follow.