British & Irish Lions

Clive Woodward takes another swipe at Rassie Erasmus: 'He is proving to be a bad distraction for SA'

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Clive Woodward (Getty)
Clive Woodward (Getty)

Former England and British & Irish Lions coach Clive Woodward has again hit out at SA Rugby's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

Earlier in the week, Woodward suggested that Erasmus take a backseat and allow Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber to take full control of the team's management reigns.

"Erasmus is still coaching the team in all but name, but that's not his job. He needs to butt out. Confusion at the top and a lack of demarcation between the roles of director of rugby Erasmus and South Africa national team coach Jacques Nienaber is killing the Springboks," Woodward wrote in the Daily Mail.

Then, on Tuesday, Erasmus took a sarcastic swipe at Woodward, who received a knighthood for his contribution to rugby.

"I don't think 'Sir' is such a big thing here. I wouldn't listen too much to Clive Woodward. He doesn't really matter to me," Erasmus said.

The verbal sparring has now continued, with Woodward addressing Erasmus in a second column published in the Daily Mail, and this time making a sniping comparison between the SA Rugby boss and Lions coach Warren Gatland.

"While Rassie Erasmus has been getting all hot and bothered on Twitter, the Lions have been concentrating on getting their most important selection of the tour correct," Woodward wrote.

"Erasmus is proving to be a bad distraction for South Africa while Warren Gatland has been statesmanlike as he prepares a squad looking to close out the series.

"Neither side produced their A-game last week - not for the full 80 minutes - so I am not surprised the Lions have made a few tweaks. The old adage about not changing a winning team is tempting, but not when you are convinced a few changes can improve the performance."

The Lions won the first Test 22-17, with Saturday's second encounter at Cape Town Stadium scheduled for 18:00.


South Africa

15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

British and Irish Lions:

15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Anthony Watson (England), 13 Chris Harris (Scotland), 12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), 10 Dan Biggar (Wales), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland) 8 Jack Conan (Ireland), 7 Tom Curry (England), 6 Courtney Lawes (England), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain, Wales), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (England), 1 Mako Vunipola (England)

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens (Wales), 17 Rory Sutherland (Scotland) 18 Kyle Sinckler (England), 19 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), 20 Taulupe Faletau (Wales), 21 Ali Price (Scotland), 22 Owen Farrell (England), 23 Elliot Daly (England)

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