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Revealed: Why Rassie has to sit in the coaching box

SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber has clarified Rassie Erasmus’ role on their end-of-year tour.


Erasmus became the game’s most talked-about ‘water boy’ earlier this year, when he entered the playing enclosure – delivering messages to the Springbok players during the British and Irish Lions series.

He did not join the squad for the year Rugby Championship in Australia, but he has will join them in Europe for matches against Wales, Scotland and England.

Erasmus and SA Rugby will also front up to a World Rugby hearing this coming weekend – October 30 and 31 – as a result of his now-infamous hour-long video criticising match officials during the B&I Lions series.

When that is all done dusted, the Director of Rugby will not return to his water carrier duties.

He will instead join Nienaber and the rest of the management team in the coaching booth.

“Rassie is here in his capacity as Director of Rugby,” Nienaber told reporters during an online media briefing from Paris – where the team is enjoying a one-week training camp.


“The normal trend was always only two water carriers in the technical box, but for the British and Irish Lions series World Rugby made [a special dispensation to have] three available and that was a role that we thought we are going to fill internally.

“That gave Rassie the opportunity to be the water carrier.

“But we are now back to two water carriers in the technical zone, so there is no space for him.”

Nienaber added: “We normally had certain individuals that would fulfil that role [of water carrier] and they will continue fulfilling that role.


“He [Erasmus] will fulfil his normal role as Director of Rugby and he will be in the box with us at the top.”

The Boks will face Wales in Cardiff on November 6, before moving on to Edinburgh to face Scotland on November 13.

They will finish their tour with a match against England at Twickenham on November 20.


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