Rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus has chemo for life-threatening condition during Springboks' World Cup triumph

In early 2019, Erasmus was diagnosed with microscopic polyangiitis with granulomatosis and underwent chemotherapy before and during the World Cup. 

Erasmus' doctor Johan Theron told Afrikaans publication Rapport that the side effects made the coach weaker, but was essential as the disease was potentially fatal. 

"He really doubted at one stage whether he would be able to push through with his position as Springbok coach," Theron said.

His chemotherapy doses were lowered so that he could give his full attention to the Springboks during the World Cup. 

Erasmus confirmed as Springboks coach

Erasmus has signed a six-year contract to the end of the 2023 World Cup in France and has been tasked with improving results after South Africa had slipped to sixth in the world rankings.

The decision to appoint Erasmus, who had been acting as director of rugby in South Africa, was widely expected. He will stay in both roles as he finally fulfils his ambition of coaching the side, having missed out two years ago to Coetzee.