Cape Town - Ever northward … that’s been World Cup-winning Springbok mastermind Rassie Erasmus’s progress this year on the win percentages ladder for post-isolation head coaches of the national team.
Following completion of RWC 2019, Erasmus beefed up his record significantly to 65.38 percent – 17 wins from 26 Tests spanning two calendar years of internationals at the helm.
That’s also where it ends for him, of course, as he moves into more of an overseeing role as director of rugby from the 2020 season, and someone else (Jacques Nienaber and John Plumtree seem to have been top of many observers’ minds of late) assumes the head-coach mantle.
So although he will stay pretty instrumental in plotting Bok fortunes, Erasmus effectively bows out in a current position of fifth among the modern coaches (those to have presided over 10 Tests or more) for success rate – only behind Kitch Christie (100), Nick Mallett (71.05) and, more narrowly, Jake White and Heyneke Meyer who both come in at a fraction below 67 percent.
Before the Boks left for Japan, Erasmus had been gradually on the rise anyway: following their last Test on home soil, against Argentina at Loftus, he had already elbowed out both Harry Viljoen (53.3) and Rudolf Straeuli (52.17) as he advanced to 55.5.
But following a 7/8 win record in Japan (including the RWC tournament-preceding Test win over the host nation in Saitama), he has also now leapfrogged both Andre Markgraaff (61.54) and Peter de Villiers (62.50).
Even after his up-and-down first full year in 2018, where the Boks won seven times from 14 Tests (50 percent), Erasmus had already ensured being above Ian McIntosh (33.3) and predecessor Allister Coetzee (44).
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