Surprise as Rassie Erasmus joins Twitter
Could you ever imagine Rassie Erasmus being on social media? Well, incredibly, now it has happened.
The former Springbok coach and current director of rugby at the South African Rugby Union joined Twitter on Sunday – something that is quite surprising, considering his well-known aversion to the media in the past.
SA Rugby confirmed that it was indeed the former loose forward who had opened the Twitter account, named @RassieRugby.
But nowadays, there is a different Erasmus: one who understands the bigger picture of promoting the game, and who feels that he has matured a great deal in recent years, particularly during his time at Munster in Ireland.
That was certainly evident at the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year, where his management of players, open-door approach to transformation and even an adaptable game plan all played a part in Siya Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.
On Sunday, the 47-year-old included a video in his first post, where he appeared to dismiss an Afrikaans newspaper report that he may become the England coach and replace Eddie Jones by stating: “Not Sure I would know what to say to any other team before a W Cup Final. Not Happening !!!”
Not Sure I would know what to say to any other team before a W Cup Final. Not Happening !!! pic.twitter.com/eCyiMQDRkc— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) February 9, 2020
That was in reference to an inspirational speech he gave before the World Cup final, where he said things like “You don’t have the right today to worry about your mistakes… you are not representing yourself, you are fighting for things that are happening in South Africa”, and “You really are fighting, Siya, for the next laaitie in Zwide to not suffer like you suffered”.
On Monday, he added two more videos in which he spoke to the Boks about their attitudes and how it affects selection, and how he himself had allowed his ego to get too big when he was a player, which led to then-coach Harry Viljoen dropping him from the squad.
“For a year-and-a-half, two years, I was exactly like this… After all the sacrifices to become a Springbok, you get there and start getting the rewards. And then unfortunately, you get entitled, which is a normal cycle – but it depends on how long you are in there,” Erasmus said.
“I went through two years where nobody told me ‘You are being an absolute d**k’… But a guy called Harry Viljoen, who was a businessman, who didn’t follow rugby, had to come in and eventually just drop me. My buddies started telling me when I said ‘Why is this guy dropping me?’, ‘because you are an ar**hole – you are so entitled, Rassie’.
“I was such a bad team person, and eventually my wife also told me that.”
Erasmus was at Murrayfield in Edinburgh at the weekend to watch the Six Nations clash between Scotland and England – which the English won 13-6 – as the Scottish team are facing the Boks in two Tests in July at Newlands and Kings Park.