Win or lose: Rassie confirms World Cup final his last Test in charge

Rassie Erasmus (Getty)
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Cape Town - Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that Saturday's Rugby World Cup final will be his last Test as head coach of the Springboks.

The 47-year-old joined the Boks in 2018, signing a six-year deal as Director of Rugby. 

Because of where the Boks were after two testing years under former coach Allister Coetzee, though, Erasmus immediately took on the position of head coach as well in an effort to get the Boks competitive for the 2019 World Cup. 

Now, one game away from a World Cup triumph, Erasmus has confirmed that he will step down as head coach after the tournament to focus fully on his role as Director of Rugby. 

Erasmus had said ahead of the semi-final that his Director of Rugby role would still be very much a hands-on job, but it now looks certain that the Boks will have a new head coach in 2020 who works under Erasmus. 

"It is probably my last Test - it is my last test match that I will be the head coach," he told media on Thursday after naming his side for Saturday's final.

"For me, it’s an emotional one in the sense that I didn't think 25 Test matches would go that quickly.

"When I went to Munster, I was sort of in the mode of doing the family thing and making sure that I saw my children in the last four or five years before they get out of school.

"The moment you get hands-on with the Springboks again, the adrenaline starts pumping again ... it is a totally different feeling, and I am enjoying it thoroughly now.

"It’s wonderful to be here. It’s sad that it’s only three days, and then it is all over.

"But I will be heavily involved, hopefully, still after this - whatever way we are going to go with the head coach.

"Me being involved again gives me such hope for what rugby can do for South Africa.

"I was one of those guys three years ago who said 'Let’s just play, boys, let’s just play. Stop talking about this hope thing, because everybody is talking about. Rugby is rugby, and let’s just play'.

"But I've totally changed my mind. I believe if we play the right way, and with the passion, and the people can see it, it just helps people forget about their problems, and agree with things.

"I have enjoyed it thoroughly, and whatever happens on Saturday, we have to make sure we use this for the next four, five, six, seven years and that it doesn’t get lost again."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:00 (SA time). 

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jonathan Joseph

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