Rassie Erasmus has backed under-fire England boss Eddie Jones and also revealed the secret to putting together a World Cup-winning team.
Writing in the Daily Mail on Sunday the South African director of rugby Erasmus opened up on a number of subjects, including Jones, who some believe will be relieved of his duties any day now, with Erasmus punted in some circles to take over.
Writing in his column Erasmus said that despite Jones’ England team losing a few matches in the Six Nations, the Australian remained the right man for the job.
“I took on my Springboks job 18 months before the World Cup (in Japan in 2019) – this time four years ago – and so much can change during that time,” writes Erasmus, who went on to reveal what the secret was to getting the Boks on the winning track.
“When I took on the role, I booked a room upstairs at The Fat Butcher restaurant in Stellenbosch and spent three to four hours drinking wine and eating steak with former Springboks coaches. They gave me so much different advice, but there was one thing that came out of everyone’s mouth.
“They said, ‘When you write down those 23 names for the match, you cannot have one banggat’. It’s Afrikaans for scaredy cat. You need 23 guys who will turn up when the going gets tough. And there’s only one way to really find out if someone is a banggat. That’s on the pitch.”
Erasmus added, “You can’t look at the latest performances in the Six Nations and determine how teams will perform at the World Cup.
“Something might look awful right now but it could be part of the planning. Teething problems. There are different mechanics to every organisation so you don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes.
“England are getting a lot of criticism but they will be strong at the World Cup. Don’t tell me Eddie (Jones) has suddenly become a bad coach. He is a good rugby man who texted me when I was in trouble with World Rugby.
“He made a lot of changes to his team recently but I’m sure he has a plan for the World Cup.”
Erasmus also writes about Six Nations champions France being the red hot team at the moment, and also touches on issues such as his water-carrier duties and how the impact of South African players plying their trade in the English Premiership is affecting the English game.
For the full column click here.