Rassie Erasmus turned 47 on Tuesday and we've decided to honour the Rugby World Cup-winning coach by taking a look at his life.
On 5 October, Rassie Erasmus celebrated his 47th birthday. The Springboks rugby coach spent most of his birthday on board a plane as he and Siya Kolisi, amongst others, are set to arrive at OR Tambo at 7pm on Tuesday.
Briefly.co.za wanted to wish Erasmus a happy birthday by paying tribute to his life and career. Here are five quick facts about the Bok captain.
1. Not just a coach
Erasmus' passion for rugby started long before he became the Springboks coach. Not surprisingly, Erasmus played high-level rugby himself.
He started his professional career in 1994 at the age of 22, playing for the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup.
His exceptional performance led to Erasmus being called up to the Springboks in 1997. He made his debut for the Boks on 5 July that year in Johannesburg, against the British Lions coincidentally.
2. Beginning of his coaching career
In 2004, Erasmus landed his first coaching gig at the Free State Cheetahs. He was appointed as the provincial team's head coach.
In his first stint at coaching, Erasmus led the Cheetahs to the Currie Cup semi-finals. The team lost to the Blue Bulls, dropping out of the tournament.
3. Internationally recognised
In April 2016, Erasmus joined the Irish provincial side Munster as their director of rugby, Wikipedia reported.
The decision saw Erasmus moving abroad to fulfil his duties on a three-year contract. However, the team's head coach, Anthony Foley, passed away and Erasmus took on the duties of both director of rugby and head coach for the rest of the season.
The team made it to the semi-finals where they lost against Saracens. The following season, Erasmus' team made it to the finals and were the favourites for the title, but they were beaten by the Scarlets.
4. Winning international awards
In May 2017, Erasmus was named the 2016/17 Pro12 Coach of the Season. He was also named coach of the year by World Rugby following the #RWC2019.
5. Lesser-known facts about Erasmus
Erasmus' real name is Johan Rasmus, with 'Rassie' being his nickname. He was born in Despatch in the Eastern Cape - a town that produced a number of sporting superstars - and went on to study at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein.
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