British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has weighed in once again on the Springboks’ ploy of using Rassie Erasmus as a waterboy.
The South Africa director of rugby has been running water for the South Africans during their warm-up games while relaying tactical instructions and messages to the players and head coach Jacques Nienaber.
‘World Rugby regulations say a coach or a manager can’t be in the technical area on the side of the pitch,’ said Gatland after naming his team to face the Springboks in the opening test.
‘I suppose they argue he’s not the head coach, he’s the director of rugby. And they had that in the World Cup with Jacques Nienaber, having a physio qualification, being able to deliver messages and do that as well.
‘I’m not too worried about it. I’m not sure it’s the greatest look for the game but that’s their decision and I’ll just live with that.
‘They’ll make that call and they’re not breaking the laws of the game in terms of guidelines. I made a bit of a joke about it because I thought it was quite funny.’
Speaking to Sports Mail, former test referee Alain Rolland believes that the Springboks should not be allowed to do this.
‘Rassie Erasmus shouldn’t be allowed to play the role of water carrier on Saturday [in the opening test],’ Rolland told Sportsmail.
‘Head coaches are not allowed in the technical zone. Rassie Erasmus is head coach in everything apart from name.
‘It doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I’ve got no doubt that it will get looked at by World Rugby.
'He is at all the press conferences, all the training sessions and does all the sparring with Warren Gatland in the media.