Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Rassie stoked to be back in the coaching box for Springboks v Ireland match

Controversy emerged this week ahead of the game, after it came out that Ireland and the Boks would be wearing similar dark coloured jerseys.

SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus is thrilled to finally be allowed back in the coaching box and with the team on match day, ahead of the Springboks opening European end-of-year-tour clash against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Erasmus was banned from all rugby match day activities due to a video was released publicly of him criticizing Australian referee Nic Berry during last year’s British and Irish Lions series.

World Rugby handed down the ban late last year, that also did not allow Erasmus to attend Bok press conferences, until it finally expired at the end of September.

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Erasmus has since been getting back into the groove, appearing in a couple of press conferences to date and now he will be back with the team in the stadium on game day.

However he admitted that he will not be taking over the water carrying duties again, which sparked much controversy when he did it during the Lions series last year.

“It was within the protocols and the laws to be a water carrier (at the time). But I will be back in the coach’s box with the coaches on Saturday,” said Erasmus.

“I missed it a lot. I love rugby, especially being with the guys (on game day), and it’s going to be nice to be around the boys in the change room (again).

“It’s not nice to not be with the guys on match-day, because you spend time with them at training during the week and then the bus leaves and you have to go back to your room for the game.”

Clash of colours

Some controversy has also emerged this week ahead of the game, after it came out that Ireland and the Boks would be wearing similar dark coloured jerseys in the match, which is the same type of clash of kits that was seen during the two side’s last game back in 2017.

 “To me it looks like the jerseys won’t clash. But I am not the referee on the field who has to make the decisions when it’s very tight and close. I guess the guys would have done their homework and would know if they clash,” said Erasmus.

“I just know that the home team gets to wear the alternative jerseys and the visiting team will wear their traditional jerseys. As long as the referees and fans can see and we are able to play without it disturbing anything (then it is fine).

“We just know that we have to pitch up with our jerseys and if there is a clash, then the guys in charge will sort it out.”