Rassie Erasmus: Munster boss says reports of return home are 'just speculation'

Simon Zebo celebrates with Andrew Conway after the latter's try in Saturday's Champions Cup win over Toulouse
Erasmus has guided Munster to the European Champions Cup semi-finals in his first season in charge

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus says reports he is set to leave the Irish province to return home to South Africa are "just speculation".

Erasmus has led Munster to the European Champions Cup semi-finals in his first season in charge while the team are also strongly challenging in the Pro12.

He has been linked with a director of rugby role with South African Rugby but played down the issue on Monday.

"It's definitely not a done deal. It's really just speculation," Erasmus said.

The South African, 44, signed a three-year contract with Munster last year but there have been reports the deal includes a clause that would allow him to give six months' notice to leave the Irish province.

Munster's director of rugby worked as general high-performance manager of South African Rugby before his current role.

Erasmus received huge praise for his leadership role at the club after the sudden death of head coach Anthony Foley in October.

On Monday, the South African denied that the speculation about his future could become a distraction for Munster as they chase honours on two fronts during the remainder of this season.

Munster will face European Champions Cup holders Saracens in the semi-finals in Dublin on 22 April while only a collapse in form in their remaining four regular-season games in the Pro12 will prevent them reaching the semi-finals in that competition.

"It isn't a distraction for the team. There's a lot of talk like that but it isn't something we discuss internally," added Erasmus.

"The team has grown so much that we shouldn't let stupid things distract us at this stage."

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