Rassie Erasmus On Why Munster Picked Jaco Taute Over Francis Saili

Munster were left with a difficult decision to make over the last few weeks.

The southern province currently have two outstanding international centres on their books in the shape of All Black Francis Saili and Springbok Jaco Taute, but only one player can remain in Limerick.

In the end Munster decided to go with Taute who has signed a two-year deal with the province after initially arriving as Saili’s temporary replacement who was out with a shoulder injury. That injury proved to be a lot more costly that he expected.

Saili, who put in a MOTM performance against Ospreys yesterday, wanted to stay with Munster but has been denied a deal for a number of reasons.

Frankie has done wonderful in the two years he has been here and he wanted to stay,” said Erasmus following yesterday’s semi-final.
“It’s a tough decision that we have to make, but just look at the last tackle he made, it shows what he feels for the club.
“Luckily, he is mature about it, he wants to finish on a high with the club. He’s excited about next week. But it’s sad, it’s sad to lose guys like that. We wanted to keep him.”

The reasoning for keeping Taute realistically comes down to one key factor and that’s money. Saili is Munster’s highest paid player on €500,000 a season, and you can imagine Taute is costing nowhere near that.

“You can say it’s between them but there’s a few things more that play a role,” said Erasmus.
“The fact that Jaco can play 15 for us as well, cover there, and obviously the financial impact – it wasn’t really between the two of them.
“Some people you can afford, other people you can’t afford. It’s one of those things, and you can only have so many foreigners. Otherwise, Irish rugby would be dead when it comes to the national team.
“So it’s tough decisions but we have to make a few decisions around affordability, quality and all of those kind things, but it was really tough.”

Follow Me