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Sunday 22 October 2017

Dempsey: Rassie will have impact

Girvan Dempsey. Photo: Sportsfile
Girvan Dempsey. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey has backed Rassie Erasmus to have the same influence on South Africa as he has had on Munster.

"Talking to the guys in Munster, he is highly regarded," he said.

"He has put in place some impressive structures and we've seen how they're playing over the last season and where they got to in Europe and within the PRO12, as it was.

"I think he is going to add massive value to South African rugby."

Of course, the former Ireland full-back was never going to be anything but complimentary in a confusing time for South African rugby and their place in the game.

"I think they are evolving," he said, about the state of their nation.

"You look at the game globally. It is constantly changing. It is trying to adapt to that.

"You look at South African rugby, from an international perspective, taking last weekend's result out, it is in a really positive place.

"There was a lot of positive talk around how the team was performing," he said.

Then, the All Blacks put on a show of shows on Saturday to plummet the Springboks right back into a deep and dark hole.

"Looking at the game against the All Blacks, they will look at the challenge of how they turned the ball over.

"That is where the All Blacks are so dangerous, off turnover ball."

On a more personal note, turning the page from the Southern Kings to The Cheeta hs in Bloemfontein on Friday night is predicted to be a more demanding task.

Leinster spent some time in Johannesburg last week to acclimatise to the altitude they will encounter on Friday night.

"We wanted to give the players the opportunity to experience it," said Dempsey.

"That's what we had in Johannesburg, feeling the heat - it was warm - and training at altitude.

"A lot of the guys would never have done that before. We know that it was higher than it is going to be in Bloemfontein.

"It was good for them to feel that initial shock to the system.

"Then, it was 'hang on, we're fit enough, we can adapt to this'. That was the reason behind it."

Leinster will take heed of Cheetahs' 54-39 defeat of Zebre which produced eight tries in front of 14,000 spectators.

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