- Rassie Erasmus will be travelling with the Springboks on their end-of-year tour to Europe.
- The national director of rugby didn't go to Australia, ostensibly to prepare for his World Rugby disciplinary hearing for his criticism of referees.
- But his presence does seem to suggest that it's a statement of intent with regards to the strength of his case.
The Springboks will have their unconventional water-boy back in harness on their end-of-year tour to Europe.
National coach Jacques Nienaber confirmed that Rassie Erasmus will indeed be travelling with the team on their final assignment of 2021, where they'll play three Tests against Wales, Scotland and England.
"Rassie is coming along with us on tour," he said following the announcement of the squad that will do duty.
"He will fulfil his normal role as he has done previously."
Erasmus, SA Rugby's director of rugby, didn't accompany the Boks on their Rugby Championship trip to Australia, ostensibly to prepare for the independent disciplinary hearing instituted against him by World Rugby for the infamous leaked video about refereeeing decisions after the first Test against the British & Irish Lions.
But, in what some will believe is a statement of intent, the World Cup-winning mentor will conduct his virtual hearing - scheduled for 30 and 31 October - within the Springbok camp, emphatically dispelling any thoughts that he'd still want to distance himself from the team.
His lawyer, Frikke Erasmus (no relation), will also be present in proceedings that will see the involved parties hail from London to New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the Boks will host a training camp in France, the venue for 2023's Rugby World Cup, next week before departing for Wales.
"Yes, it's an opportunity to get used to conditions we might face in two years' time, but we're also there to be part of some promotional events," said Nienaber.
"It's a nice chance to gain some familiarity with the environment there and build some excitement towards the tournament."
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