Wales Springboks

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus. Image: @rugbyontnt/X

Springbok coach to become Dr Rassie Erasmus

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is in line to receive an honorary doctorate from the North-West University (NWU).

Wales Springboks

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus. Image: @rugbyontnt/X

Rassie Erasmus has become one of the most loved South African sports figureheads, having led the Springboks to back-to-back World Cup titles as coach and director of rugby, while he also oversaw a victorious British & Irish Lions series triumph in 2021.

Erasmus is now back as head coach of the Springboks in a new contract that will see him lead the team to the Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2027.

The 510year-old is now set to have a new accolade added to his CV, with the North-West University (NWU) set to award him an honorary doctorate.

The NWU announced on Friday that the honorary doctorate will be bestowed on Erasmus in recognition of his innovative and exceptional management of the Springboks during their victorious 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cup campaigns, his significant standing in the international rugby coaching arena, his strong drive and focus on diversity and inclusion, and his commitment to social responsibility.

The university said that in addition to his visionary leadership, Erasmus has also shown an unwavering commitment to the Sport Transformation Charter – which is included in the Strategic Plan of the Department of Sport and Recreation – that has resulted in a systematic change in the development of talent and skills across the national rugby spectrum.

Springbok boss: Dr Rassie Erasmus

Key continued role

Erasmus recently said he was thankful for the trust placed in him by SA Rugby’s leadership to steer the national team once again.

“It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me,” said Erasmus. “The main difference between the last four years and this season is that I will be more hands-on at the field sessions.

“In my role as Director of Rugby in the last four years I continued to oversee the team structures and strategy in conjunction with Jacques and the other coaches, so it should be an easy transition back into the head coach role.

“One of our key pillars in the last few years was building player depth and we are excited about the talent available to us this season,” said Erasmus. “Most of the 2023 World Cup-winning players are still available for selection, and several young players now have the luxury of international and World Cup experience, which is invaluable at Test level.

“We have a challenging Test season ahead with a Test Series against Ireland on Saturday 6 and 13 July in Pretoria and Durban, and we face Portugal for the first time ever a week later in Bloemfontein in the Incoming Series.

“We then have an exciting Rugby Championship campaign, which features two home tests against New Zealand on Saturday 31 August and 7 September in Johannesburg and Cape Town, before facing Argentina in Nelspruit on Saturday, 28 September.”