Victor Matfield believes Rassie Erasmus heading to Ireland after World Cup

Victor Matfield believes Rassie Erasmus heading to Ireland after World Cup

Springbok great Victor Matfield believes Rassie Erasmus is leaving his position as South Africa's director of rugby to take up a similar role in Ireland after the Rugby World Cup in France.

Last month, it was reported that Erasmus has been shortlisted to replace David Nucifora as the Ireland Rugby Football Union's (IRFU) performance director, and Matfield feels it's only a matter of time before it's confirmed that Erasmus will quit his role at SA Rugby to take up the position at the IRFU.

Erasmus' long-time coaching partner Jacques Nienaber will step down from his position as Springbok head coach after the Boks' World Cup campaign to further his career at Leinster, where he will replace Stuart Lancaster as a senior coach.

And Matfield feels this is an indication that Erasmus is also set to return to Ireland, where he previously had a stint as Munster's head coach with Nienaber as his assistant.

"It sounds like Rassie is going; he might stay for a few months just to get a few things in place," Matfield told The Rugby Pod. "But knowing Rassie and knowing Jacques (Nienaber), those two do everything together, so I think the chance of him going to Ireland must be 90-95%."

Matfield believes that with Erasmus' departure, there will be a changing of the guard in the Springbok coaching set-up - something which he did not expect to happen if he remained in South Africa.

"If Rassie had stayed, I would have said one of his assistants could've taken over the head coaching role," he said. "If he doesn't stay, it should be someone from outside.

"Johan Ackermann has been coaching in Japan and must have a good chance.

"I am a big fan, and I know he is not a favourite at Munster, but he is doing really well in Bath at the moment, and that is Johann van Graan.

"He has been with the Boks as an assistant coach for six to eight years, so he knows the structures, and I see him as a guy who can take over as well."

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