Erasmus smartly avoided giving away his starting personnel at Ellis Park, but said winning the Rugby Championship remains a priority. It’s a tough one considering that the World Cup is the bigger and ultimately better carrot‚ but for Erasmus‚ it’s a case of getting things to fall into place before the tournament starts instead of hoping for the best.
“The idea is to win the Rugby Championship for the first time in 10 years‚ build confidence and go into the World Cup with confidence.
"That’s prize number one‚ but with that‚ there’s some logistical issues that need to be dealt with‚” Erasmus said. “We only play one Rugby Championship game at home with two away. There’s the acclimatising for the various games, but we’ll try to win both games.”
They’ll also have to skip across the Atlantic Ocean to face Argentina in Salta on August 10.
That’s made Erasmus’s chance of getting his team in good working order tough‚ especially with how he’ll have to juggle his playing resources in the tournament. There’s also the return game against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on August 17‚ but that game isn’t a Rugby Championship fixture.
“If it was a case of playing New Zealand first away then go to Argentina or if the draw was a little bit different and we had two home games‚ we’d be in a position of picking the best possible team.
“The draw has worked out that way and we have to split the resources in the best way possible‚” Erasmus said.