WATCH: Rassie Erasmus and his rise to social media stardom
JOHANNESBURG - Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, “shocked” fans and the media alike a few months ago when he posted a video on Twitter from the inner sanctums of the Springbok change room.
The first video posted by Erasmus showed a part of his pre-match team-talk before the Rugby World Cup Final in Japan last year. It was a ground-breaking move and something very few have had the privilege to be party to in the past.
And in the first episode of SA Rugby’s new podcast series, Erasmus explained the thinking behind his move to social media, where he now has accounts on Twitter and Instagram.
“I was one of the guys who was never into that – we have a family Facebook page, but that was probably the closest I got to social media,” said Erasmus.
“But I have 16-year-old twin daughters, who are very much into Instagram and those things.
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
“At the Rugby World Cup, with very full days – from 7am to 5pm you have training, team meetings, physiotherapy, treatments and meals – I quickly realised the amount of time we (as coaches) are exposed to the players, is limited to what they are exposed to social media.
“It was actually a medium that almost irritated me, until I saw the light and understood the place for it in sport, or even in any facet of normal life, and decided to stop fighting with it and rather work with it.”
According to Erasmus, he realised at the Rugby World Cup that social media can be used to bring outsiders closer to the action.
“When we started the ‘Stronger Together’ campaign, we saw – with our fans and the media – the more honest and open you are and not hide anything, you get tremendous support, so that we really are stronger together,” he said.
“So the first thing was to give the supporters and the media a little bit of insight into how we did things at the World Cup, and also for them to see that in a team sport, like rugby, it’s not always about the best player, there are a lot of other things to also take into consideration.
Mapimps : Not always nice to be wrong, but so happy I was wrong here !! pic.twitter.com/aF9PeN0ESb— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) May 3, 2020
“I think that is one of the big reasons why we won the World Cup – we didn’t have any entitled players or players with egos in the squad.
“And then also new players who want to break into the squad, it’s a way for them to see (what the Springboks are all about), and just a way to show people how we operate and how we do things.”