Former referee Alain Rolland has called on World Rugby to prevent Rassie Erasmus from acting as a water carrier during Springboks matches.
Erasmus took over as Springboks head coach in 2018 and led his country to a Rugby World Cup title, but he relinquished his head coach role after the tournament to focus on being South Africa’s director of rugby.
Rolland was writing in a column for the Daily Mail about Erasmus acting as a water carrier for the Springboks in recent times, arguing that he should be banned from doing so as he still acts as if he is their head coach.
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Alain Rolland on Rassie Erasmus.
“The regulations state that head coaches are not allowed in the technical zone. The loophole here is that Erasmus does not carry the title of head coach. He is head coach in everything but name,” Rolland wrote.
“He is at all the press conferences, all the training sessions and does all the sparring with Warren Gatland in the media.
“The Springboks have found a loophole here and it doesn’t sit comfortably with me… I’ve got no doubt that it’s been raised this week and will get looked at by World Rugby.”
The Springboks hierarchy.
Erasmus first acted as a water carrier for the Springboks during their test against Georgia a few weeks ago, before carrying out the same role during the South Africa ‘A’ game against the Lions.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland brought up Erasmus’ new role at a recent press conference, pointing out that the South Africa director of rugby wasn’t even carrying water on every occasion he went onto the pitch.
While Jacques Nienaber is technically the Springboks’ head coach, Erasmus has appeared front and centre during many of South Africa’s press conferences during the Lions tour.
Nienaber also worked under Erasmus when the latter was Munster’s director of rugby, while he acted as the Irish province’s defence coach.