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Wed 25 Apr 2018 | 02:36

AUDIO: Rassie opens up on quotas and captaincy

Rassie Erasmus talks quotas and captaincy by Rugby365 interviews
Wed 25 Apr 2018 | 02:36

AUDIO: Rassie opens up on quotas and captaincy

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Erasmus revealed that one of his key performance indicators in his contract is that he must have a set number (quota) of 45 percent black/non-white players in his team this year.

"I am not going to talk around it all the time," Erasmus told a media briefing.

"The time has come that you must talk factually about it.

"The 'target' is 45 percent this year," the Bok boss said, adding: that it is not 45 percent in every game.

"When the season is finished, you must have 45 percent [black players]. At the end of the season, [if I didn't reach that quota] then I didn't reach one of my KPIs – it is as easy as that.

"Yes, I know you can have five injuries, then you must make a plan. We know that now, so we have to make a plan.

"It is out there, it is 45 percent and that is the target for this year. If I don't make it, I will be in trouble.

"You must see it like that, it is what it is and we must work around that."

He said he has sympathy for franchise coaches, who often stand accused of not helping the Bok coach to reach his quotes.

"Fleckie [Stormers coach Robbie Fleck] must keep his job and Robert [du Preez, Sharks coach] must keep his job.

"If they help me and the Boks do well, but they get fire tomorrow, nobody is going to say: 'Thank you, you helped the Springboks'.

"They will still be without a job.

"I am not just talking transformation. I would like a guy at inside centre, but they would select him at flyhalf.

"We would always leave it to them to make those decisions.

"I would like if they have better representation in their teams, but I understand they also have trouble with injuries or a player that has a lack of form."

* Meanwhile Erasmus said he is willing to make some "bold" selection decisions when it comes to appointing a skipper for the upcoming Tests in June.

The Springboks first-choice skipper Warren Whiteley – who is currently nursing a recurring knee injury he sustained during the Lions' defeat to the Blues in Round Four '- remains a "strong contender".

The captain was meant to make a returned last weekend during the Super Rugby fixture against the Waratahs. However, the 30-year-old aggravated the injury during training and had to be withdrawn.  

The Lions have revealed that the 30-year-old's injury is not that serious and are adamant that he could make a return at any moment.

However, with less than a month to go before the June internationals, the skipper's Bok contention is under huge doubt.

Earlier a serious shoulder injury has sidelined Springbok stand-in captain Eben Etzebeth since January.

The Stormers lock, who took over the Bok captaincy from Whiteley in June 2017, is also in a race against time to play himself back into form and Bok contention.

However, it seems like the duo's injuries don't hinder the coach Erasmus' blueprint.

"There are a few guys who are injured that we are considering," Erasmus said.

"The [Bok] squad will only be announced the week prior to the Welsh Test [which takes place in Washington, America, on June 2]," added the Bok coach – who is also the Director of Rugby for the South African Rugby Union.

Erasmus revealed was he has identified a  few alternative captain options, which include Stormers captain Siyamthanda Kolisi.

The coach also mentioned Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw as options. But with them being overseas, it does complicate the situation.

"Warren will be a strong contender as well [in terms of Bok captaincy]," Erasmus said.

"But, then again you can't go into a Test match with a player who only played  40 or 50 minutes," he added.  

"The injuries do affect the decision with Whiteley and Etzebeth not playing.

"And even with guys that have been in leadership  [like Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw]  being abroad.

"Think Siya Kolisi is finding his feet, especially at the breakdown.

"We're weighing up a few options. Luckily there are about four or five guys we can look at.

"Even if none of those guys [like Whiteley or Etzebeth] is ready we might go with a young gun and a guy who is fit, has played all the games and is mature enough to handle it [the leadership role].

"You can't just sit and hope that senior players are ready.

"We might have to make a bold call there."

By Leezil Hendricks
@Leezil07
@rugby365com

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Audio: Rassie Opens Up On Quotas And Captaincy - South Africa | Rugby365