SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is determined to see the Springboks kick on from their 2019 Rugby World Cup success.
Speaking in the first episode of SA Rugby’s podcast, Erasmus said the same mistakes following South Africa’s 1995 and 2007 World Cup triumphs cannot be repeated.
Erasmus, whose Springboks beat England 32-12 in the World Cup final in Yokohama last November, is eager not to wait another 12 years for another World Cup win.
“When we got back, there was a whole trophy tour in November then it was the December holidays and all the reruns played until the beginning of January. We were totally in the clouds and couldn’t believe how happy it made people from all sections of life. It was just amazing,” he said.
“But I must say, since we started working again, everything is back to normal. In 1995 and 2007 we lost an opportunity, and I’m desperate to make sure we don’t [lose that opportunity] again.
“There’s a difference between hope and happiness and everyone said when we won we gave people hope. I feel we gave them hope and happiness. If we now take our foot off the peddle by playing badly and our win record dips, by not doing as well with transformation and by not being open, transparent and honest with the media and the supporters, then I feel we’ll be a failure again like after 1995 and 2007.
“So I must say it was lovely to win the World Cup, but I’m feeling the pressure now more because I don’t want the next generation – like my own children – in the year 2035 to say we dropped the ball after 2019. We want to make sure that hope stays hope and it’s not a short happiness spell.”
After coaching the Boks for the past two seasons, Erasmus has handed that role over to Jacques Nienaber in order to focus more on his director of rugby role at SA Rugby.
– Compiled by Sport24 staff