Twitter mystery deepens: 'I am not Jaco Johan, I am Johan Erasmus'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The latest comments by South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus may just have added fuel to the fire in an already bizarre off-field saga.
Erasmus caused a social media firestorm when he posted footage of the Boks’ 17-22 loss in the first Test – highlighting an incident involving Cheslin Kolbe and replacement prop Mako Vunipola, which he described as “reckless and dangerous” play.
Erasmus also reacted to a tweet from a person calling himself Jaco Johan, who posted a video of several “questionable calls” by the officials against the Springboks.
The 48-year-old’s actions on Twitter have left some social media users believing that ‘Jaco Johan‘ and Erasmus – whose real name is Johan Erasmus – are in fact the same person.
Fronting the media on Tuesday, Erasmus cleared up the confusion stating: “I’m actually not Jaco Johan, I’m Johan Erasmus.
“I follow Jaco Johan, because he is a big supporter of us and he’s been feeding me some really good clips for a while now.
“There are some things I’ve used in the past.
“He’s actually a big supporter and a really funny guy.
“As to why I’m so active on Twitter? Well, I just retweeted one or two things that I thought were quite accurate.”
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He also opened up about his comments on the Kolbe incident, saying it should be seen in the light of player safety protocols.
“As Director of Rugby, the medical department is also part of the role and we have the BokSmart programme – aimed at player safety.
“So, I just thought the way Cheslin was picked up off the ground [by an indignant Vunipola], and felt it was dangerous, considering he could have been injured.
“We teach our primary school children from any age-group level to leave a player alone if they are injured.
“We wouldn’t want our Springbok players to go and start picking up B&I Lions players this weekend if they are lying on their back injured.
“So, I just felt it was an important one to get [that message] out there.
“While the other tweet was just about congratulating the Lions.
“I did retweet a few other things I thought were spot on, which is the same as last year.
“A guy like Squidge Rugby is someone I enjoy, and so when something makes sense to me, I like to retweet it.”
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Erasmus versus his peers
One man extremely upset with Erasmus’ latest role as ‘Waterboy’ during both the first Test against the B&I Lions in Cape Town and during the B&I Lions versus South Africa ‘A’ game prior is former England World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward – who was knighted and given the title of ‘Sir’.
In his Daily Mail Column, Woodward suggested that Erasmus should take a step back from the Springboks on the coaching front and allow Jacques Nienaber to coach.
Woodward evens suggest that the lack of demarcation between the roles of Director of Rugby and the head coach is ‘killing the Springboks’
When quizzed about Woodward’s comment, Erasmus revealed he is not bothered.
“I don’t know if ‘Sir’ is such a big thing here in South Africa compare to England,” Erasmus said, adding: “That’s his opinion.
“Jacques [Nienaber] and I are good mates and for now I’m the water carrier and he [Nienaber] is higher than me in rank. So, I wouldn’t listen too much to Clive Woodward.
“He doesn’t really matter to me.”
The Springboks face the British and Irish Lions in the second Test on Saturday, July 31.