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Erasmus rolls out mat for Cheetahs

By Robert Jones

The last thing Rassie Erasmus expected when he arrived in Munster last season is that little over a year later his former team from South Africa would be coming to Thomond Park to play a competitive match.

The arrival of the Cheetahs — who lost to Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium last weekend — in Limerick for tomorrow’s Guinness PRO14 clash will bring Erasmus into opposition with many old friends just a few months before he returns home to become director of rugby in South Africa.

Erasmus, who is from Despatch just outside Port Elizabeth, played most of his career in Bloemfontein with the Cheetahs and is looking forward to catching up with a lot of good friends tomorrow.

“When I leave Munster, I would love to leave here in the way I left the Cheetahs,” he said.

“When the Cheetahs arrive here it is my close friends, guys who were at my wedding, some of them were my best men, some of them organised the wedding, so I know them really, really well.

“That is what I am saying, when I leave Munster and they are coming (to South Africa) next April, that is the way I would want to be with Munster.

“It is exciting. I am so glad. Some of those boys would never have travelled the world, and now I am coaching against them here. It is not emotional. It is nice,” he added.

“I can tell you so much stories about them, but the head coach, I coached him, he was the lock in the Currie Cup.

“His line-out coach was his partner lock. The scrum coach I coached and played with most of those guys and coached most of them.”

Meanwhile, Scarlets flanker James Davies has been ruled out of action for 12 weeks due to shoulder trouble.

Davies will undergo surgery today.

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