[imagesource: Behrouz Mehri / AFP]
Just when you thought you couldn’t have more respect for Rassie Erasmus, the man who coached South Africa to the 2019 Rugby World Cup win, this story emerges.
Day 234 of 1 449 as world champions, by the way.
Over the weekend, Afrikaans paper Rapport reported that Erasmus was actually battling a potentially life-threatening disease last year, and had to undergo chemotherapy treatment both before and after the tournament in Japan.
In early 2019, Erasmus was diagnosed with microscopic polyangiitis with granulomatosis, which Sport24 states is a rare autoimmune disease:
The disease is not cancerous but it can severely impact the lungs, kidneys, sinuses and trachea and Erasmus is understood to have suffered a rare strain of the disease that, according to his doctor Johan Theron, was potentially fatal.
According to the report, Erasmus continued with the treatment until March 2020 and it was considered successful.
“Rassie was treated for a serious condition in 2019, from which he has recovered,” a SA Rugby spokesperson confirmed to Sport24 on Sunday.
“He thanks people for their concern but wishes to keep the matter private.
Theron, his doctor, went as far as to say that Erasmus doubted whether he would be able to continue as coach, with his chemotherapy doses lowered during the World Cup so that he “could give his full attention to the Springboks”.
Knowing what we do now, it makes that impassioned speech during half-time of the final all the more remarkable.
Thankfully, the now director of rugby for SA Rugby has made a full recovery.
If you haven’t yet watched Squidge Rugby’s superb, Rassie-approved analysis of how the Springboks won the World Cup, there’s no time like the present.
[imagesource:wonderai] James Bond would never rock up to a braai with his Vesper Martin...
[imagesource:courtTV] A Florida man who was accused of locking his adopted 14-year-old ...
[imagesource:wonderai] The bodies of 11 hikers were discovered near the crater of Indon...
[imagesource:fenty/puma] Rihanna and PUMA go together like Champagne and caviar. The...
[imagesource:pxhere] "A remarkable effort" is how the National Sea Rescue Institute’s...