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Nienaber pulls off Rassie’s trick play

Nienaber used his title of senior coach to sidestep the World Rugby ban on directors of rugby or head coaches going on the field.

Former Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber showcased his tactical savvy by acting as a waterboy for Leinster in the Champions Cup final against Toulouse on Saturday.

Fresh off winning consecutive Rugby World Cups with South Africa, Nienaber joined Leinster this season as senior coach under Leo Cullen.

At London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this week, the South African brought a touch of Rassie Erasmus’ controversial methods.

Erasmus, then serving as SA’s director of rugby, caused a stir by performing waterboy duties during the 2021 British & Irish Lions series. He was accused of intimidating referees and influencing decisions.

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World Rugby’s 2022 edict banned directors of rugby and head coaches from serving as water carriers. However, Nienaber exploited a loophole on Saturday under his title of senior coach.

During a second-half stoppage, he engaged in an intense discussion with EPCR officials but was permitted to continue, and was even spotted giving a team talk to Leinster players.

However, Toulouse inflicted more cup final heartbreak on the Irish giants as they were crowned kings of European club rugby for a record-extending sixth time following a thrilling 31-22 extra-time win.

Photo: James Crombie/INPHO/Shutterstock

The post Nienaber pulls off Rassie’s trick play appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.

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