“I’m Not Jaco Johan, I’m Johan Erasmus” – Rassie Steals The Show With Hilarious Press Conference
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Springboks director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus has been making headlines all week with activity on social media following South Africa’s defeat to the Lions in the first Test on Saturday.
Erasmus seems to have set up a ‘burner’ account on Twitter under his ‘alias’ Jaco Johan that has been posting clips that highlight some refereeing decisions that he feels went against the hosts at the weekend. The account uses the exact same video editing software as the Springboks with the same yellow highlighting circle seen in their analysis and ‘Jaco’s’ clips.
Today, Erasmus decided to front up and sit beside head coach Jacques Nienaber for their pre-match press conference and absolutely no one was safe in one of the funniest interviews we’ve ever seen in rugby.
Firstly, he was asked if he was indeed the man behind this ‘mysterious’ account…
“No, I’m actually not Jaco Johan, I’m Johan Erasmus,” he said.
“I actually follow Jaco Johan, he’s a big supporter of us. He’s been feeding me some really good clips for a while now, things that I’ve actually used in the past.
“He’s a very big supporter, a really funny guy and I quite enjoy the things that he does.”
He was then asked about his social media activity this week…
“Why am I so active on Twitter? I think I just retweeted two or three things I thought were accurate,” Erasmus explained.
“And I tweeted twice just for a simple reason: as director of rugby the medical department is part of our department. I thought the way Cheslin was picked off the ground could have been a serious injury.
“We teach our primary school children from any age or level that you leave a player as he is there because it is dangerous. We wouldn’t like our Springbok players this Saturday to go and pick up every Lions player who is on their back.
“Otherwise I just thought the other tweet was, the Lions really deserved to win. They have gone through the same protocols as us, they are far away from home.
“So it was only those two tweets, and then obviously I did retweet a few things that I thought were spot-on. When something makes sense to me I like to retweet it.”
He then commented on Warren Erasmus not being happy about South African Marius Jonker being made TMO for the three Tests after New Zealander Marius Jonker was forced to pull out.
“Warren talked last week about Marius Jonker. Warren is a great guy, I’ll tell you straight up, I always enjoy his company, he’s a good man But it was weird for me that people would question Marius’ integrity.
“Say we say this weekend, Ben O’Keefe is a New Zealander and Warren is also a New Zealander, we would never say that. It wouldn’t sit well.
“The whole integrity of the game would be questioned, and we would never do that.”
Erasmus was then asked if he felt he was undermining officials with his social media activity, to which he said:
“You’re 100% right, if somebody goes and micro-analyses every decision that’s not been taken, I think that’s awful, you can’t do that. The referee only has one pair of eyes.
“But I think if you analyse the things that he’s supposed to see, I think you’re then actually spot-on with the integrity of the game.”
And it didn’t end there. Erasmus was then asked about Sir Clive Woodwards recent comments, where he questioned Erasmus’ waterboy role, and the South African’s response was absolute gold.
“I don’t know if his ‘Sir’ is so important in South Africa, but in England, I’m not sure,” Erasmus said.
“That’s his opinion. Myself and Jacques are great mates. I am the water carrier at this stage, so I think he is higher than me in rank.
“We have always worked together since the military in 1990. The way we work together, if you look at that match on Saturday, when it was 71 (minutes), we almost scored a try, it was called back. Then our working relationship might have been (seen as) perfect. Then people say it’s working really well.
“So, I wouldn’t listen to too much of Clive Woodward, he doesn’t really matter to me.”