Rassie responds to 'water boy' ban: Director of coaching a much better title for me!

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Rassie Erasmus as Springbok "water boy". (Photo by EJ Langner/Gallo Images)
Rassie Erasmus as Springbok "water boy". (Photo by EJ Langner/Gallo Images)

Rassie Erasmus has provided a witty response to World Rugby's law amendments on the role of water carrier.

The global governing body on Tuesday approved a global trial that will no longer allow the SA Rugby director of rugby to act as a "water boy" during Springbok Tests.

Erasmus raised eyebrows last year when he performed the role during the British & Irish Lions series in South Africa.

World Rugby regulations had stipulated that only head coaches were prevented from being on-field, but the latest ruling will bar Erasmus from performing the role in future.

The global governing body said in a statement that the new law trial would be operational from 1 July, 2022 - for all competitions and stand-alone matches.

World Rugby made it clear that while teams will be "permitted up to two dedicated water carriers", it "cannot be a Director of Rugby of Head Coach".

Upon hearing the news, Erasmus took to social media and quipped that he'd simply be changing his job title.

"Was just talking to my line manager yesterday!! She also thought 'Director of Rugby' has a such a formal ring to it ! We agreed that Director of coaching will be so much better title for me! Lekka !! Cant wait," he wrote on Twitter.

Word Rugby said the aim of the trial is to "improve the flow of matches by reducing unnecessary stoppages without compromising welfare".

For all competitions, including Rugby World Cup 2021 playing in 2022, Rugby World Cup 2023 or stand-alone matches that begin after 1 July 2022, the following adjustments to Law 6 will apply:


- Can only provide water to players who they are treating- Cannot field or touch a ball when it is live in play (sanction: penalty kick)

Additional personnel

- Teams are permitted up to two dedicated water carriers.

- Water carriers cannot be a Director of Rugby or Head Coach.

- In elite-level rugby, water carriers will only be able to enter the field of play twice per half at points agreed with the match officials - this can only be during a stoppage in play or after a try has been scored.

- A person bringing on a kicking tee may carry one bottle for the kicker's use only.

- These water/tee carriers must remain in the Technical Zone at all times before entering the field of play as permitted. Any attempt to field or touch the ball while it is live in play, including the technical zone, will be sanctioned with a penalty kick.

- No-one should approach, address or aim comments at the match officials, save for medics in respect of treatment of a player. Should this happen, the sanction will be a penalty kick.

Players on the field

- May access water behind the dead ball line or from within their Technical Zone at any time.

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