FILE - Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Phando Jikelo (ANA)
FILE - Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Phando Jikelo (ANA)

Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus says ’Jaco Johan’ is not his Twitter ’burner account’

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Jul 27, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has denied that the ’Jaco Johan’ Twitter account is run by him, as many has speculated over the last couple of days

Erasmus joined Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber for the team announcement ahead of their second Test against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday to address his recent engagements on social media.

Following the Boks’ opening Test defeat at Cape Town Stadium, Erasmus took to Twitter to say that they had “no excuses”. Then, on Monday, he retweeted a video from a Twitter handle with the name ‘Jaco Johan’. The tweet highlighted some questionable refereeing calls.

During Tuesday’s media briefing, Erasmus said: “It’s actually why I’m at the press conference. I was feeling sorry for Jacques because I knew he would probably get that question. I’m 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. These are some things I’ve used in the past, he’s actually a big supporter and a really funny guy.

On Tuesday, Erasmus raised his concern with how Cheslin Kolbe had been played in the air, an incident that was overlooked by officials. He also explained why Mako Vunipola action of recklessly picking Kolbe up from the ground was such a misstep.

“And as to why I’m so active on Twitter, well, I actually just retweeted two or three tweets that I thought was accurate and I tweeted twice,” he said.

“I thought the way Cheslin was picked up off the ground could have been a serious injury. As director of rugby, the medical department is also part of that role and we have the BokSmart programme aimed at player safety.

“We teach our primary school children from any age-group level to leave a player alone if they are injured, and we wouldn’t want our Springbok players to go and start picking up Lions players this weekend if they are lying on their back injured. So, I just felt it was an important one to get out there.”

Meanwhile, former British & Irish Lions coach Clive Woodward, in his column for a UK publication, wrote that Erasmus ‘needs to butt out and let Nienaber coach’.

“It is clear that Erasmus has started taking over again, he is running around in a tracksuit and donning the water carrier bib even though – as (Lions coach Warren) Gatland observed last week – he never seems to dispense any water, nor even carry a bottle! He never forgets his clipboard, though,” he wrote.

“It looked comical, it was comical, and I am surprised South African Rugby are allowing it to happen. Erasmus is still coaching the team in all but name, but that’s not his job. He needs to butt out.”

When asked for his take on Woodword’s scathing words, Erasmus said: “I don’t know if it (what he says) is as important as in England, I don’t know. Myself and Jacques are friends, he’s the coach and I’m the water carrier, so he’s above me in rank. I wouldn’t listen too much to Sir Clive Woodward, he doesn’t matter to me.”

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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