“If things don’t go well on the field I should be the guy who takes the blame.”
CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus says the buck will continue to stop with him despite the appointment of a Jacques Nienaber as the new coach of the world champions.
Erasmus led the Boks to the William Webb Ellis trophy with a 32-12 win over England in the final six months ago in Yokohama, but in January returned full-time to his current position, elevating his former assistant Nienaber to the head coach role.
However, the 47-year-old maintains he will still have major input, and preserving the winning formula is as much his responsibility.
“He (Nienaber) reports to me and if it doesn’t go well on the field I should be the guy who also takes the blame because I was one of the big drivers to get him there,” Erasmus said in a podcast released by South African Rugby on Saturday.
Erasmus added that Nienaber, with his knowledge of the team and each individual player, stood out as the best candidate to lead the side when he was appointed in January.
SA Rugby · SA Rugby Podcast Ep 1 – Rassie Erasmus
“I have got all the confidence that he has the knowledge, the experience and the respect of the players.”
Erasmus added that he was determined to build on the momentum gained from the World Cup triumph and create a dynasty of success, something that did not happen after their previous two triumphs.
“If we take our foot off the pedal, if we start not playing that well, our win record dips and we are not doing as well with transformation, then I feel we will be a failure again like after 1995 and 2007.”
He is also confident the Boks will play tests in 2020, with their July fixtures against Scotland and Georgia unlikely to go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rugby Championship and November International series also under threat.
“We are working so hard, especially with the teams that we know are going to play this year, and that will definitely be the Springboks.
“We are not sure what is going to happen with Super Rugby and the Springboks might not play all their test matches, but they will play.”
Nienaber’s first matches in charge were scheduled to be the two tests against Scotland and one against Georgia at home.