South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus suffers chemical burns in ‘freak accident’

Rassie Erasmus is recovering in hospital (Picture: Getty Images)

Springboks director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has suffered chemical burns from what has been described as a ‘freak accident’.

The 51-year-old was using a powerful detergent, according to South Africa Rugby, and is now recovering in hospital.

While clearly a distressing incident for Erasmus, the statement confirmed he is ‘otherwise in good health’ and will return to work within weeks.

A statement from South Africa rugby read: ‘Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, is recovering in hospital following a medical procedure for chemical burns sustained in a freak accident using a powerful detergent product.

‘He is otherwise in good health and expects to return to full-time working within weeks.’

Erasmus has been director of rugby with the Springboks wince 2017, having twice served as technical supervisor before, and been coach of his country from 2018-19.

Jacques Nienaber has stood down from the coaching role after the World Cup win in France last year and Erasmus is expected to take over and lead his country again.

The Springboks are not back in action until July, when they take on Ireland twice, then take on New Zealand in their first Rugby Championship outing in August.

Nienaber left South Africa to take over at Leinster, explaining his decision by saying: ‘That was part of the challenge, to come into an environment where there’s no place for mediocracy.

‘When you look at Leinster from the outside, the product they deliver on the pitch, it’s clear that it’s not a place for mediocracy. That’s the challenge that you want.

‘Not that I had any of that in South Africa, but for a change-up, getting our family over here and for some more personal reasons, that’s the reason we made the move as a family.

‘From a work perspective, the challenge is massive. Both the demands from the coaches and the players as well, they are top international players that have won a lot of accolades, they’ll definitely keep you on your toes.’


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