SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux confirmed on Monday that Rassie Erasmus has accepted a new position as director of rugby at Munster.
He will take up his new position following the Springboks’ home series against Ireland in June.
Erasmus, a former Springbok captain, has led SA Rugby's Rugby Department for the past four years, introducing a number of new structures and innovations.
“I’d like to thank Rassie for the massive contribution he has made in establishing the Rugby Department and ensuring SA Rugby remain leaders on and off the field,” said Roux.
“It will be difficult to replace Rassie, but we’ll make an appointment in due course. The Rugby Department is functioning extremely well with experts at all levels ensuring the department runs smoothly on a daily basis.
“Hopefully this will not be the end of Rassie’s contribution to rugby in South Africa. He’s done so much, as a player, team manager and coach for various teams in South Africa, and in the last four years at SA Rugby. We’d like to wish him well for his future endeavours.”
Erasmus said: “I’d like to thank my colleagues at SA Rugby, and specifically the CEO, Jurie Roux, for affording me the opportunity to serve in my role for the past four years. It was truly an honour to work in an environment where innovation and pushing the boundaries of acceptable norms was encouraged.
“I have learnt a great deal from my experiences at SA Rugby and trust that the organisation under its current leadership will achieve great things on and off the field.
“The decision to accept Munster’s offer was ultimately a personal one, which I made with my family, at what we believe is the right time. Munster is without doubt the best club for me to experience something different as part of personal goals I have set.”
“It was a tough decision to make as I believe I leave SA Rugby at an exciting point. Allister Coetzee was the Rugby Department’s recommendation to take over as Springbok coach it’s a new era for Springbok rugby. The team will never be far from my heart.”
Meanwhile, Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald is excited by Erasmus' appointment.
"We are delighted to announce Rassie Erasmus as Munster Rugby's Director of Rugby," he said.
"In recruiting Rassie we are securing the services of a world-class individual who was the stand out candidate for this newly created position.
"In addition to his extensive playing and coaching experience Rassie's current role has afforded him the opportunity to develop his skill-set further, garnering invaluable knowledge and expertise while implementing an all-encompassing rugby programme which will be key to this role.
Outlining the role further Fitzgerald confirmed, "The Director of Rugby role will lead Munster's senior team, academy and coaches to deliver Munster's Strategic Plan with ultimate responsibility for team performance and results. The role will have overall responsibility for defining on field strategy and ensuring its implementation.
"After completing a comprehensive world-wide search we would like to thank all parties involved in this appointment. The process included the input of all relevant stakeholders with each stage concluded promptly in the best interests of Munster Rugby.
"We look forward to welcoming Rassie at the start of the 2016/17 season in what will be an exciting time for the province as we operate from our new High Performance Centre in UL."
David Nucifora, Irish Rugby Football Union Performance Director, commented: "Irish Rugby is fortunate to have secured such an outstanding talent as Johan Rassie Erasmus. Rassie's long history in the game has seen him enjoy coaching success in the Currie Cup and Super Rugby and has seen him develop some of the best talent in South African rugby.
"His experience leading the Cheetahs to win the Currie Cup in 2005 and 2007 before taking the Stormers to a Super Rugby final in 2010 and winning the South African Conference in 2011, coupled with his management of South Africa¹s high performance department makes him the ideal candidate to take over as Director of Rugby at Munster."