Bok plans still on track despite hospitalisation of Rassie Erasmus
SA Rugby says Springbok coach expects to return to work within weeks
Rassie Erasmus’ hospitalisation due to burn wounds are unlikely to delay plans to name the new Springbok coaching structure in the coming weeks.
SA Rugby on Saturday released a statement saying their director of rugby underwent a skin graft after what they described as “chemical burns sustained in a freak accident using a powerful detergent product”.
They added: “He is otherwise in good health and expects to return to full-time working within weeks.”
It is understood Erasmus was attempting to unblock a drain using a plunger when the accident occurred but details remain sketchy.
Though the statement said he will return to work within weeks, SA Rugby remain hopeful they can soon announce the new Springbok coaching structure.
All the planning had been completed to get the new structure in place after key defections after 2023’s Rugby World Cup.
Erasmus spearheaded the search for a replacement for Jacques Nienaber who vacated the position of Springbok head coach, as well as assistant coach Felix Jones.
The pair took up positions with Leinster and England, respectively.
It was widely reported in November 2023 that Erasmus would again take over the responsibility of Springbok head coach on an interim basis.
Whether he will retain that title in the new structure remains to be seen.
Spending time in hospital will not be a foreign experience for the former Bok flank.
In 2019 he was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis, a very uncommon disorder that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in your nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys.
He spent four days in hospital for the condition previously known as Wegener’s disease.
As a player he broke his nose on a number of occasions and at one point had plastic inserted to replace his septum. He had an operation to fix his pubic bones, he went under the knife for a dislocated elbow, had three procedures for piles and had a knee cleared of scar tissue. He has had 38 operations as a player.
News of Erasmus’ injuries would have shocked many South Africans.
Erasmus has become a much revered figure since the Springboks’ triumph in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Their victory in France in 2023 only solidified his position as an SA cultural icon.
He has kept a low profile after the Boks won the Rugby World Cup in October 2023.
He spent a month on holiday in Mauritius and time with family in the Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape.
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