'No space' for Rassie to be water boy as World Rugby case looms

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Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

It is a big week for Springbok director of rugby Rassie Erasmus with his highly-publicised World Rugby hearing set to take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Erasmus is facing charges after his 62-minute video, in which he was critical of referee Nic Berry following the first Test against the British & Irish Lions in July, was leaked to social media in the following days.

Where the video leak came from will be critical to any punishment that may follow, but once the hearing is over, Erasmus will turn his attention immediately to the Springboks and their end of year tour where fixtures against Wales (6 November), Scotland (13 November) and England (20 November) await.

The Boks are currently in France preparing for the tour, and on Sunday when SA Rugby hosted a virtual press conference, it was made clear that no questions would be taken directly relating to Erasmus' case.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber did, however, rule out the possibility of Erasmus running water on the touchline during any of the Tests.

"Rassie is here in the capacity as director of rugby," Nienaber said.

"In the Test matches against the British & Irish Lions, World Rugby came out and made a third water carrier spot available. The normal trend was that there were always only two water carriers in the technical box, but then they made three available.

"That was a role we thought we would fill internally and it gave Rassie the opportunity to be the water carrier in that tournament.

"We're now back to two water carriers in the technical zone, so there is no space for him.

"It was just for the British & Irish Lions ... Rassie made himself available there, but now he will fill his normal role as director of rugby and he will sit in the box with us."

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