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Erasmus: Too many imports could end up hurting Irish


Rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus


Rassie Erasmus

South Africa's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has warned Ireland of the potential detrimental effects of importing too many overseas players.

Erasmus admitted that Ireland must be wary of promoting their own home-grown talent.

However, having spent two seasons with Munster, Erasmus believes the IRFU have a good handle on the issue, which has cropped up again after Munster announced the signing of a third South African lock for next season.

Erasmus insisted that while Jason Jenkins' move to Limerick is a positive for his Springboks set-up and for Munster, the World Cup-winning coach feels it is a situation that must continue to be carefully managed.

"For South Africa it's great because he is in a great high performance programme, they are paying his salary and he can play for us," said Erasmus.

"It's about balance, and I think David Nucifora (IRFU performance director) is very much on top of it. There's eight locks, so let's say four are foreign, now Andy (Farrell) might only have four to pick from.

"Of course, Ireland don't have a lot of rugby players. If there are 160 or 180 professionals and that foreign-based number becomes big, I don't think it's bad for the club, but I think it might be for the national cause - it might not be great."

• Connacht have announced their backroom coaching team for next season, but have yet to appoint a new forwards coach.

Peter Wilkins will move to a new role of senior coach where he will have primary responsibility for attack.

He will be supported by Mossy Lawler who has been appointed assistant attack and skills coach, in addition to Colm Tucker who is defence and forwards technical skills coach.

A recruitment process to replace outgoing forwards coach Jimmy Duffy is underway.

It means the numbers on the professional coaching team, headed by Andy Friend, will move from four to five.

All three coaches have signed two-year contracts running in tandem with Friend's recently announced extension.

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Wilkins first joined Connacht as defence coach as 2017, having previously held the same role at Edinburgh Rugby for two seasons.

Lawler moved to Connacht as a coach in 2014 after a successful playing career with Munster and Wasps. He has spent the last six years as elite player development officer in the Connacht academy and four years as head coach for the Connacht Eagles.

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