In the Hot Seat - Rassie Erasmus from Cape Town
September 20, 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: Hi Ras, when will SA rugga learn to rotate plyrs in S15 rugga, its obvious we dont care bout our players, our injury count is insane! - Xerxes

Rassie answers: Hi there. I think our biggest challenge is the fact that we don’t have central contracts like New Zealand. Our franchises own the primary contract with the players and therefore control the amount of game time. Obviously we sometimes request that a player must be better managed, but one do have to understand that the franchise coaches are also under immense pressure to perform. Not an ideal situation but one of my first challenges I want to get right.

Your Question: Hi Rassie, I am happy you’re working with the Springboks! To be completely honest I am a bit confused about what your role is exactly. So what do you actually do? - Chris

Rassie answers: I am the GM High Performance. Basically there are six High Performance departments with which we service all national teams: (Women’s, Sevens, U/20 and Springboks). They are:

1. Technical (all analysis work)
2. Operational (logistics, salaries, contracts etc.)
3. Medical (physiotherapy, doctors, masseuse)
4. Conditioning (actually part of medical bio’s etc.)
5. Coaching (This is a big challenge, but the plan is to get coaching forums, share IP ranking system and lots more in place)
6. Players (Main aim to create a SA Rugby pathway for a player)

Your Question: Hi Ras u legend! Has Heyneke allowed u any input or is everything his way? How come we don’t see u in the coach’s box anymore? - Paul

Rassie answers: The plan was always for me just to help and be hands on with the coaching until after the series against England. The main reason for this was the fact that the Bulls’ coaches (van Graan, Mcfarland, Loubser, Carzis) were still involved in Super Rugby and Heyeneke needed some hands on deck. They all now just involved with Springboks. So I am back at the office running the HP Department.

Your Question: Are we trying to built a team to be competetive in the next world cup & thereafter or is the aim just to win each & every game? Leave Bakke & bring the young guns through. SA is still looking out for some exciting gamebreaking ideas,maybe a Rassie on the roof with some flashlights.. Come-one Rassie get more involved & show H/M some of your tricks please.. Bokke for life! - Martin van As

Rassie answers: Sometimes the media can make a rumour reality, I can assure you there was no plan to bring back Bakkies. The challenge always for a new coach is to balance winning with rebuilding. I guess that’s where my new role come in to create some continuity when the one coach leave and the next coach take over. It should not always be a new beginning if all the correct structures are in place.

Your Question: Hi Rassie, weet dit is nie regtig jou plek nie. Maar hierdie hele up and under - Kirchner kyk nie links of regs nie. Geskoppery raak afgesaag..!! Heelagter is veronderstel om die beste aanvallende posisie op die veld te wees..?? Sekerlik kan ons partykeer kanse ook vat..? As jy begin uitsien om te werk op ‘n Saterdag i.p.v Springbokrugby kyk - is daar natuurlik fout..?? – Robert Botes

Rassie answers: Ek glo dit is verseker ‘n taktiek wat al in die verlede gewerk het, maar ek moet saam met jou stem dat ons dit so bietjie moet aanpas. In die verlede was dit Nieu-Seeland se swakpunt deur manne soos Sivivatu, Rockocko ens. Jy het altyd geweet hulle kon nie regtig die kicking game hanteer nie. Die laaste paar jaar speel hulle egter met heelagters op vleuel soos Jane,Dagg ens. Ek kan jou egter verseker Heyneke weet dit en is besig om n paar planne te maak.

Your Question: Hi Rassie hoop dit gaan goed, dink jy ons is op die regte pad? Ons dag gaan kom!! – Wayne Williams

Rassie answers: Verseker! Ek dink net ons sal moet ‘n struktuur kry waar ons spelers nie vuisvoos is in die Super Rugby Finaal nie. Dis waar Nieu Seeland ons voor is is met die bestuur van hulle spelers en nie soseer met hul afrigting nie. Maar ons sal dit definitief regkry.