Emotional Rassie bids Munster farewell

Cape Town - Rassie Erasmus is on his way back to South Africa after completing his duties with Irish club Munster.

Erasmus will return to his country of birth as SA Rugby’s director of rugby, having spent the past 18 months in Ireland.

His contract as Munster’s director of rugby was due to run until December 31, but the Irish club opted him an early release, along with defence guru Jacques Nienaber.

Munster’s 49-6 PRO14 annihilation of Welsh side the Dragons last Friday was Erasmus and Nienaber’s last act in charge before returning to their new roles at SA Rugby.

According to The42 website, Erasmus was close to tears in his final press conference, describing his time at Munster as the “best 18 months of my life”.

“I will treasure these days for the rest of my life. And the performance was wonderful to sign off with. I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here. I have learned so much from the Irish people," Erasmus said.

“I will miss the Irish people. It is very hard to leave Ireland and to leave Munster specifically. People have been good to us here. To me and my family and to Jacques Nienaber and his family.

“On behalf of him I would like to thank everyone. He doesn’t always get the opportunity to talk to the media. He certainly feels the same way."

In his new job, Erasmus will oversee South African rugby’s eight national teams and the participation and management of 20 competitions, as well as the development of players, coaches and referees.

Nienaber will be SA Rugby’s high performance coach.