Rassie Erasmus hits back following criticism of Springboks’ 7-1 split

Not having it.

South Africa’s director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has fired back following criticism of South Africa over their squad selection in their win over the All Blacks last week.

The Boks decided to go with a 7-1, forwards-backs split, unloading seven fresh forwards in the second half, in what some feel was against the “spirit” of the game.

The reigning world champions have been renowned for going with a 6-2 split for many years, rather than the traditional 5-3 split, and Erasmus sees their latest split as no different as they are staying with the laws and regulations of the game.

As far as he’s concerned, all that matters is what’s “best” for South Africa.

“We have been in a bit of a bubble,” Erasmus said.

“We are focusing on what we are trying to do and how we can be successful at the World Cup. We don’t really care about how other teams are doing it and what their opinions are.

“We are just staying within the game’s regulations and laws. So, for us, it’s about what’s best for our team, what works for us, and that certainly won’t be the same from one weekend to the next. We don’t really care about what other teams say about it. It’s about what’s best for South Africa and the Springboks.”

Erasmus added that he’s simply not bothered by the reaction as the tactic was within the game’s laws.

“I really didn’t pay much attention to it,” Erasmus added.

“You know, if it was something that we did wrong, obviously, that would have been something that bothered me, but we followed all the laws and the protocols.

“Since I was playing, we only had two reserves, 15 players on the field, and two on the bench, and then it became 22, and then it became 23, and then you had to have a full front row.

“I know the laws, the protocols, and all the regulations really well; if you are a coach at this level and work with coaches at this level, you have to know the laws of the game.

“So, if it was something that we did wrong, then obviously it would have bothered me.

“But what I’m trying to say about that, and I’m not being arrogant, but it wouldn’t help us to take notice of all that – it wasn’t anything we did wrong.

“I’m not surprised because it’s something a bit new, and it is change, and people like to chat about that, but I’m not really bothered about it.”

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