Munster Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, bid an emotional farewell after his side humiliated Newport Dragons 49-6 in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday night at Musgrave Park.
Erasmus, who took Munster to a Pro12 final and a Champions Cup semi-final in 2017 said: “It probably is (my last game in charge).”
The 8,008 spectators were treated to a masterclass class during the South African’s last encounter as Munster Director. Departing defence coach, Jacques Nienaber said: “We had a fantastic time, not only me, but my family. It was a phenomenal club, phenomenal people to make up welcome into the community. It was one of the best 18 months I will ever have. It was fantastic.”
The Springbok duo were met at full-time with a rousing backdrop of ‘Stand up and fight’.
New Munster head coach Johann van Graan will arrive in Ireland during a three-week break from Pro14 action with the autumn internationals on going. Johann van Graan has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Munster.
He is expected to be in charge of Munster’s first fixture against Zebre in Italy on November 26.
Erasmus joined Anthony Foley’s back room team in April 2016 as Director of Rugby. And the 45 year-old believes the death of his compatriot was a poignant moment in his career. “Axel’s death was the saddest, without a doubt the saddest. I was supposed to be director of rugby and I certainly adjusted a lot of my thinking and things while that happened. That wasn’t a low, it was a sad time.”
The former flanker added, “But then again it was one of the times where I learned the most about myself, other people and about other cultures. I wouldn’t say it was a low. It was sad but it was a life changing experience for me in a lot of things I am doing as a coach.
Along with Munster’s defence coach, Jacques Nienber, both men will take up roles with the South African Rugby Union in the coming weeks.