New Springboks coach says job on the line against All Blacks in Wellington

New Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus feels this weekend's Test against the All Blacks isn't just about snapping a losing streak.

His job is on the line too.

Erasmus, who took over the role from Allister Coetzee this year, admitted pressure is mounting after back-to-back Rugby Championship losses to the Wallabies and Pumas the past two weeks, making this Saturday's contest in Wellington more than just another Test.

"Probably just for me to survive it's very important [that we win]. But that's totally beside the point, for me to survive," Erasmus said.

"If we can beat the All Blacks here then everybody will think we have a realistic chance of winning the World Cup next year and if we do really well here people would say there's growth.

"But if we do really bad here then I will probably not be in the seat for the next couple of matches and somebody else will probably be there."

History isn't on Erasmus' side. The last time the Springboks beat the All Blacks on Kiwi soil was in 2009 with a 32-29 win in Hamilton.

To make matters worse, their most recent trip to New Zealand last year was a record 57-0 loss in Albany.

As a result, Erasmus says the six-year contract he recently signed doesn't make him invincible. 

"If you follow South African rugby, the six-year contract means nothing if you're not performing. I think it's more a sense of our leadership saying listen here, think a little bit long-term don't just think crisis management, get through this week and get through the next week.

"I don't think like that. I know people will say 'you must think like that' but if you think like that then you never will build a squad that will be competitive. The only thing that six-year contract tells me is not to think about next week, think about the World Cup and the 2023 World Cup as well.

"My honest thing that I want to get right is I want to see growth and I want us to be contenders next year. That's what the whole discussion and what this whole championships is about. By doing that you're always going to upset supporters, board members and people. But that's besides the point, as long as this team is growing."

The All Blacks play the Springboks at Westpac Stadium at 7:30pm on Saturday.

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus Source: Associated Press


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Most read: Meet the Kiwi farmer who went from being a Black Fern to becoming the first female to ref a men's first-class game

This story was first published on Tuesday September 18

Rebecca Mahoney says the milestone isn’t about gender – it’s about hard work and a bit of training. Source: 1 NEWS | Sky

Former Black Fern Rebecca Mahoney may have made history when she became the first woman to referee a men’s first-class rugby match last weekend, but she’s shaking off the milestone.

"It's not about who you are or where you're from or what your gender is, it's just hard work and a bit of training."

The 35-year-old has been around rugby most of her life, having won two World Cups before trading in her No.10 jersey for the whistle.

That experience came in handy on Saturday in Te Aroha when she officiated her first Mitre 10 Heartland Championship game between King Country and Thames Valley.

"To see women ref out there, there's no problems," Thames Valley captain Alex Bradley said after the game.

"They take control - probably better than some of the men."

But it’s not just her experience from the game that helps her.

Mahoney says farm life in Eketahuna plays an important role too.

"I'm extremely challenged to hit a standard that most of the boys can hit quite easily, and that's not going to change - genetics aren’t going to change that," she said.

"It’s just a lot of hard work that's going to have to go into it."

History shows the rural lifestyle has gone hand in hand with rugby's greatest figures – take Sir Colin Meads as a prime example.

Women have officiated men in Tests between developing nations but nothing close to the intensity of first-class New Zealand domestic rugby.

While Mahoney doesn’t think she’ll ever officiate the All Blacks, she’s happy knowing the path is a little bit closer.


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John Mitchell leaves Bulls for defence coach role with England under Eddie Jones - report

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has reportedly finalised a deal to join Eddie Jones as England's new defence coach.

ON THE MOVE: John Mitchell

South African newspaper Die Burger reports Mitchell has been released from his Super Rugby head coaching role at the Bulls after the Rugby Football Union agreed to pay a transfer fee.

The fee reportedly sat between NZ$300,000 and $450,000.

Mitchell will now assist Jones as the team looks to turn around their recent form in time for next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Former Springboks captain Victor Matfield, who played 140 matches for the Bulls, has been rumoured as a possible replacement for Mitchell.

Under Mitchell, the Bulls finished 12th in this year's competition after losing 10 of their 16 games.


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First woman to ref a men's first-class rugby match reflects on journey - 'I wasn't sure it was achievable'

Former Black Fern Rebecca Mahoney achieved a milestone for woman in rugby over the weekend when she became the first female referee to officiate a men's first-class game, but she admits she once thought it may have never been possible.

Mahoney, who played 16 matches for the Black Ferns before transitioning to refereeing, was put in charge of Saturday's Mitre 10 Heartland Championship match between Thames Valley and King Country.

"Thames Valley was a fantastic host union for me," she said.

"Just a nice, small, heartland union to get me my first game which was pretty special... the boys were good and it was a really good game."

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The 35-year-old said she decided to take up the whistle after realising the women's game was growing.

"I'm really proud that I've achieved what I set out to achieve.

"Three years ago, I set the goal of wanting to referee men's first-class rugby and at the time, I wasn't sure if it was achievable.

"But I've had faith put in me and really enjoyed it."

Rebecca Mahoney controlled a Heartland Championship match between Thames Valley and King Country. Source: 1 NEWS


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'This is bigger than boxing' – SBW motivated by charity ahead of next fight

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams says his next jaunt into the boxing ring is all about charity, rather than his reputation within the sport.

Williams, 33, will fight Australian reality TV star Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy in Sydney on December 1, with all funds raised to go aid homeless in Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking to media in Auckland today, Williams revealed his motivation for the bout.

"This is bigger than boxing," he began.

"I'm just humbled by Stu and Max (Markson, promoter) coming to me and asking if I want to be a part of it.

"Understanding that Bill Crews (of the Exodus Foundation) and the Auckland City Mission have big parts to play in that, that's what we're trying to do and raise funds for."

The All Blacks star will face Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy on December 1. Source: 1 NEWS