In the Hotseat - Rassie Erasmus from Pretoria
April 25, 2012
Every week we give readers of BOKzine the opportunity to ask questions of South African rugby personalities. Simply sign up for our weekly fan newsletter, BOKzine, by clicking here!

Your Question: Are you only looking at the franchises for talent or are you looking further down the ranks ie. Provincial, top club sides or even top provincial school rep sides (craven week) were there is talent that could be molded into what the Springboks require? Thank You, KP.

Rassie answers: Hi KP – obviously the most of the players we're looking at short term will come from the Vodacom Super Rugby franchises, as the natural progression for players in their careers is to get there from the lower levels up, but we're also planning ahead for years to come and in the end we monitor players from as low as U16 level up, through high school, university and club level and then at the various provincial unions.

Your Question: Hi Rassie. Congratulations on your new role. Unusual question for you: I was an officer in the army in Kroonstad from July 1985-1986. There was a Rassie Erasmus (Officer) there at the same time who also trained as a 'parabat'. When I see your name in the media I always wonder if its you? Kind regards, Michael Eckersley.

Rassie answers: Thanks Michael. No, it wasn't me - jumping from airplanes has never been my thing!

Your Question: Hi, I would like to know your thoughts on a posibble 'VICTOR MATFIELD' return to International Rugby ? I believe his experience in a 'consultancy' role will be absolutely invaluable , but what kind of message will it send to the MANY up and coming and VERY capable Locks that we have in this Country , if He makes the starting line up ? Thank You, Garth van Tonder.

Rassie answers: The Victor issue is one that has been discussed quite a lot recently and while I can't speculate too much on what will happen in the end, I can say that I've mentioned to Heyneke that it might be a good idea to get him involved, as a player or as a lineout consultant. When it comes to lineouts, he's the best there has ever been. I've played with, played against, coached against and coached with him and I only have the highest regard for Victor. Time will tell what will happen to him in the coming weeks, but I do think we need to involve him with the Boks.

We must always do what is best for South African rugby and if that means bringing Victor back, we must do it. He will also add a lot of value to our younger locks coming through the ranks.

Your Question: Rassie- What will the rationale be behind the inclusion of Victor in the Springbok team its over and over proven that players when they come back after a decision has been made to hang up the shoes that they not performing or is as good as they were. There are more than enough capibilities with other players to be a leader of the Bokke? (Your honest view) - Ian Swarts

Rassie answers: Ian, see my answer above here to Garth. What I can add is that Victor is probably one of the best captains world rugby has seen in the last decade. His knowledge of the game and his understanding of what to do in certain situations is nothing but brilliant. He was great for the Boks last year. On the leadership question, we do have a lot of good captains in South Africa, but if you look at the SA Vodacom Super Rugby teams, four of our captains are loose forwards and three of those are No 8s. We've lost a core of leaders, but we will build one up again, of that I'm very confident.

Remember, Jake White also brought back Os du Randt in 2004 and he played the full 80 minutes in the Rugby World Cup final in 2007, so there are success stories of players returning from retirement.

Your Question: Congrats on the new appointment! I know that you will embrace this opportunity with all your rugby heart and that your wealth of knowledge and expertise will ultimately benefit the well-being of this beloved sport. My question is: "Who will typically attend your meetings?" Thanks & Good Luck! Sykes Terblanche.

Rassie answers: Thanks Sykes. Your question is an interesting one - if I understand correctly, I will work mostly with coaches, technical analysts, talent identifiers, referees and so on. At the Boks, we've got a team of great coaches who will sit in on meetings, as well as our medical staff, admin staff and obviously the players.

Your Question: Hi Rassie, I fear our game is becoming dated and has not moved on since 2007. I think young Goosen from the Free State at 10 could change this and re-ignite our backs. Do you think he will ever get selected under Heyneke Meyer? Regards, Chris Sysum.

Rassie answers: I don't agree with you 100% Chris, but I understand what you mean. Teams become more organised every year and it gets more difficult to score tries, but the real good teams will always find ways to get more points on the board than their opponents. Johan Goosen is a superb player and while I don't want to speculate on team selection, I'm pretty certain he will feature at the highest level sooner rather than later.

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