Cape Town - The cat and mouse game between Rassie Erasmus and World Rugby was sparked off again this week following the governing body's new trial regulations revolving around water carriers on the pitch.
Former Springbok loose forward and head coach Erasmus - now the director of rugby at SA Rugby - became the most famous (infamous if you're from outside South Africa) water boy in the world when he donned a bib and an earpiece during the British and Irish Lions tour last year.
With water bottles in hand, Erasmus dished out messages from head coach Jacques Nienaber and his own advice to the players, and it paid off in the end as the Boks pulled off a come-from-behind 2-1 series triumph.
was just talking to my line manager yesterday!! She also thought “Director of Rugby” has a such a formal ring to it ! We agreed that Director of coaching will be so much better title for me! Lekka !! Cant wait https://t.co/1QYEkzdLF2— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) May 17, 2022
But Erasmus didn't endear himself to Lions coach Warren Gatland and the British and Irish media, and what added fuel to the fire was his 62-minute video on Australian referee Nic Berry's performance in the first Test at Cape Town Stadium.
World Rugby eventually suspended Erasmus from all rugby activities for two months for the video, and stated that he cannot get involved with the Boks on match-day until October this year.
But on Tuesday, they took it a step further by approving a whole host of trial regulations that will be in place from July 1 until at least the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, and one of those was specifically about how and when water carriers can enter the pitch.
Not only that, but they stated that a director of rugby or head coach cannot fulfil a water carrier role.
That got Erasmus going, and he posted a typically mischievous response on Twitter: "Was just talking to my line manager yesterday!! She also thought “Director of Rugby” has a such a formal ring to it ! We agreed that Director of coaching will be so much better title for me! Lekka !! Cant wait"