Former Munster and South Africa prop BJ Botha has paid tribute to Rassie Erasmus after the coach delivered a third Rugby World Cup for the Springboks.
Erasmus' meticulous planning and expert player management had a major hand in the Boks lifting the trophy, which came after a 32-21 win over England in Saturday’s final in Yokohama.
Erasmus has now vacated the South Africa hot seat to return to his role as director of rugby within SA Rugby, but Botha left RTÉ 2fm's Game On listeners in no doubt as to the significance of the part the former Munster coach played in the nation’s tournament success.
"He knows how to analyse teams," Botha said.
"That was his first and foremost position.
"He was part of a squad that I was part of building up to the World Cup in 2007.
"He was taking analysis, working with the Free State Cheetahs, then working with the youngsters and winning Currie Cup after Currie Cup.
"He knows how to bring about belief and that I think stands out.
"Even though he’s so good from a game plan and analysis perspective, he’s also shown how players buy in and play for the coach and play for each other and play for a belief bigger than anything else.
Botha also believes that South Africa enjoyed a physical edge in the final.
"I would say that the squad is incredibly fit," he said.
"I think they’ve been well rested coming through the games.
"From a defensive perspective, I think they don’t work as hard as the stats show.
"I think they’re making a lot of front-on tackles. A lot of the guys are making those big hits and impact tackles and really slowing the ball down, so even though they’re going through a number of phases, what they do have intact is their defensive line and there really bring front-up tackles and dominant tackles.
"The toughest part you find yourself in is running back and retreating and then making tackles from there.
But you don’t really think about the workload when you’re in a final.
"You think about the prize and the process towards that."
Munster have pulled off quite the coup in landing World Cup winner Damian de Allende on a two-year deal from the start of the 2020-21 season and Botha is confident that he can rival the impact made by other international signings, including compatriot Jean de Villiers.
"There are quite a few South Africans now in the set-up," Botha added.
"I think he’ll settle in seamlessly.
"There is a history of South African centres and backs that have come through and Australians and New Zealanders.
"It’s a transition that he will make the most off.
"He’s played with the Stormers, he’s played in Japan and he grew through the tournament.
"Tactically and defensively he’ so accurate.
"I think he’ll be a massive attribute to Munster."