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[OPINION] Rassie’s new dawn akin to that of Cyril?

The worst secret in SA Rugby’s recent history is out. Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus will succeed Allister Coetzee as the new Springbok coach for the next six years, right up until the conclusion of the 2023 World Cup in France.

Erasmus will serve a dual role as director of rugby and Springbok coach. The appointment brings about a renewed hope and optimism among many Bok fans after the disastrous Coetzee tenure that ended earlier in February.

But is the optimism and renewed hope justified?

Will Erasmus' return the Boks renew their status as one of the most feared rugby nations in the world?

I believe that this optimism will be as short-lived as that of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Those that kept former President Jacob Zuma in power are still at Ramaphosa’s side and they are continuing to loot state funds and cripple the country’s economy. Even after the Cabinet reshuffle, the corrupt members have been shifted to other areas of government and have not been ousted.

Similarly, those in power at SA Rugby during Coetzee’s reign are still there and are still as incompetent as ever. Our rugby administrators are still running the organisation like an amateur club from the rural Eastern Cape.

Most of them are still embroiled in corruption cases that have not been concluded. Appointing Erasmus for six years will not remedy the deep-rooted problems our rugby faces.

Sure, Erasmus’ coaching acumen is well respected around the world, but his bosses are toothless and their commitment to making the Springboks a successful brand is hugely questionable.

The Boks will fare better under Erasmus, but the long-term success of the national rugby side hinges on the competency of those who hold the power at SA Rugby.

Philasande Sixaba is a sports reporter at Eyewitness News.

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