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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Rassie to study Munster notes

TRY: South Africa’s Faf de Klerk scores his side’s second try against Japan. Photo: PA
TRY: South Africa’s Faf de Klerk scores his side’s second try against Japan. Photo: PA

Rassie Erasmus is hoping that his knowledge of Welsh rugby from his time in Ireland will help South Africa overcome Wales in next weekend's World Cup semi-final.

Erasmus spent a year with Munster before he cut short his stay in favour of returning home to take over the Springboks.

South Africa dumped Japan out of the tournament yesterday by beating the hosts 26-3 in Tokyo.

Erasmus came up against the majority of the Welsh players when Munster took on the Scarlets, Ospreys and Dragons, and he is hoping to tap into the information he picked up during his all too short spell in Limerick.

As well as that, Erasmus has previously explained that he felt Felix Jones could add a huge amount of value to the setup based on what he knew about northern hemisphere rugby.

"I've got good hidings against Scarlets and those guys when I was coaching Munster, some good wins against them as well," Erasmus said.

"There are good memories as Munster coach against some of the Welsh teams and some bad memories as well.

"They are defintely a team with a lot of x-factor. I have coached twice against them with the Springboks.

"One was in Washington when we really played a mixed bag of a team because we had to juggle two squads before we played England.

"And then the other one was the out of competition window where we couldn't actually select overseas based players.

"So I have never coached against a Wales team where we could select all of our first-choice players who are available. So this will be the first time.

"But they have got a great coaching staff and the thing about them is, I think they have created a squad. If you look at them when they toured Argentina, they took almost a second-string side over there and gave them a whitewash.

"I think they have created depth in every single position. And yeah, they have got good confidence and a great team spirit. We know how great the rugby culture is in Wales.

"It will be a big challenge for us and whenever I have coached for Munster against any Welsh team, it was never an easy game.

"I'm not sure if the knowledge about individuals will help me, but I think knowing the way Welsh teams play might help me a little bit."

Erasmus, who is also South Africa's director of rugby, was asked if he felt that Japanese rugby would benefit from being allowed to join the Rugby Championship.

There have been plenty of calls for World Rugby to help grow rugby in the Far East on the back of the excitement that has been created at this World Cup.

Erasmus admitted that while the idea sounded good in theory, he did raise a few potential issues.

"It would be interesting, I think it's a good debate to have," he added.

"Their style of play would be something interesting. But then all the questions, the weather, possible problems and solutions, positive and negative I just wouldn't know that."

South Africa's next opponents Wales staged a stunning fightback victory yesterday to win a gripping World Cup quarter-final in Oita after France pressed the self-destruct button.

The Six Nations champions' 20-19 victory was secured by Ross Moriarty's 74th-minute try that Dan Biggar converted.

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