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Erasmus doesn’t fear for his job

A coach known for his attention to detail and innovation, Rassie Erasmus was handed the unprecedented dual role which included an extended six-year contract.

Rassie Erasmus at a press briefing after it was announced that he has been named as the new Springbok coach on 1 March 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Ahead of the Springboks' Rugby Championship, Rassie Erasmus is under no illusions that his two roles are not mutually exclusive.

"Although I cherish this job, I think it’s the most wonderful job in the world (but) you can’t divorce the director of rugby and the head coach job because it’s the same person. If I’m not successful as a head coach, then I’m also not successful as director of rugby. I’m not stupid enough to think you can divorce the two."

A coach known for his attention to detail and innovation, Erasmus was handed the unprecedented dual role which included an extended six-year contract.

"People get it wrong when they say there is no pressure on me because I’ve got a six-year contract. The pressure to do well and struggling to keep the job, I’m not worried about that. I love the South African Springbok [team] too much to worry about that. I’m more worried about where we are going; building squad depth, becoming a winning nation and transformation."

From the onset of his appointment, Erasmus openly suggested that results would dictate the length of time he has as the Springbok coach, but he also acknowledged the unique challenge he faces.

“I would really like to continue with what we are doing so it’s a difficult balancing act. There are only 15 Test matches [until World Cup] and you want to try and win as many as possible, but you also want to get the team so ready for the World Cup to have a realistic chance of winning it. There’ll be some hiccups along the way, but we have to handle that.”

The Springboks face Argentina in Durban this Saturday as they begin their gruelling Rugby Championship campaign. Erasmus confirmed Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am would start the Test as his midfield pairing at their home ground.

Lock Eben Etzebeth looks set to play his first competitive rugby match since last year after he was cleared by a medical specialist.

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