NEW Director of Rugby Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus will pick the Munster’s starting team next season and will be ‘directly responsible for performance on the field’ according to the province’s chief executive officer Garrett Fitzgerald.
Former South African flanker Erasmus will begin a three year term at Munster’s first Director of Rugby on July 1.
When Munster head coach Anthony Foley – set to stay on in the role next season – was asked what exactly Erasmus’ role would entail at a press briefing at the Castletroy Park Hotel on Tuesday, he said: “I have asked that question and it’s what the person makes of it, so that is something ye can talk to Garrett (Fitzgerald) about.”
So how does Foley envisage working with Erasmus?
“We’ll see,” was Foley’s terse response.
Foley added: “Trust me, the lad coming in, hopefully he's brilliant, comes in and we have a great time together.
"You only have a great time if you win. It is important for us to make sure we're position that we can play European Cup rugby next year under the new regime."
In explaining the new Director of Rugby role at Munster, Garrett Fitzgerald said: "For us, we want the director of rugby to be an on-field person, a tracksuit person and ultimately, as the statement says, they're responsible for the performance on the field.
“That is the way we want the director of rugby and that is from a lot of research, talking to a lot of people and that's the role we see for this person."
Fitzgerald said he did not believe Foley felt undermined by the appointment of Erasmus as the new Director of Rugby.
Fitzgerald said: “I would think if you fellas (press) would like to think he is undermined, you could think he is.
“But from the discussions I have had with him, and they have been long, honest, and straight on the thing itself, you can get that perception. He could have that himself, but I don’t think so.”
Fitzgerald said Erasmus brought a ‘great presence’ to the new role.
“He’s a charismatic man, he’s a great presence.
“You could see straight away he’s a good management ability, all the work he’s done as a player, as a leader on the field as a coach and what he achieved with the Cheetahs, especially from starting off (as a Super Rugby franchise) and all that.”