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Lions will go through 'appropriate channels' as Erasmus' Twitter antics continue

The SA Rugby director of rugby is strongly suspected of having set up a fake profile.

Erasmus has been active on Twitter in recent times.
Erasmus has been active on Twitter in recent times.
Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

THE LIONS INSIST they will go through official channels with any queries around possible foul play as SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus continues to use Twitter to highlight incidents.

Erasmus this morning shared footage of Cheslin Kolbe being tackled close to the touchline and then pulled up off the ground by Lions prop Mako Vunipola.

“Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!!” wrote Erasmus.

“More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!! Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, its reckless and dangerous! Leave this to the [medical team].”

Erasmus also retweeted a video of other decisions that didn’t go the Springboks’ way in last weekend’s first Test that was shared by an account called ‘Jaco Johan’.

“Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they don’t,” said Erasmus.

It is strongly suspected that Erasmus himself is behind the ‘Jaco Johan’ account, which appears to be using the same analysis software as Erasmus has used to illustrate his own videos. 

The Jaco Johan account has only ever tweeted twice, with the first one a video highlighting a possible high tackle by Owen Farrell in South Africa A’s win over the Lions two weeks ago, which Erasmus also retweeted.

RE Erasmus only follows three accounts on Twitter.

Erasmus’ official account only follows three other accounts on Twitter – Jaco Johan and Lions locks Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje.

The latest tweets continue a bizarre war of words off the pitch.

Lions boss Warren Gatland publicly questioned referee Jaco Peyper’s decision to only yellow card Faf de Klerk for a high tackle in that South Africa A game and said the tourists would seek clarity around that call.

Erasmus took to Twitter to respond to Gatland’s claim that de Klerk’s actions were “reckless” by sharing two clips of possible high tackles by Farrell.

Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy said that he and the rest of the coaching staff won’t be taking to Twitter to engage in similar behaviour.

“Being a bit of a dinosaur myself and not being on Twitter and things, I’m hearing lots of hearsay,” said Tandy.

“Ultimately it’s his viewpoint. We thought the officials did a really good job at the weekend and if there’s anything we need to bring up we’ll go through the appropriate channels.

“It’s a tough job and I know everyone moans around certain decisions. There’s always frustration, and we get it as coaches.

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steve-tandy Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“But if you can keep that… because it is a tough job out there for the officials. If we can keep to the proper channels, I think that is probably the best way around that because it’s a tough job for the players, the coaches, and it’s definitely tough for the referees too.”

Tandy also indicated that the Lions could pick out lots of little moments and refereeing decisions that wrongly went against them in the first Test.

“It is the major calls you want to get right and spend the appropriate time on. It is hard for the officials, there is so much going on. People are saying Rassie is coming out and saying bits and pieces around the performances at the weekend but every team has got those moments.

“Every team can go through micro details and analyse it. We do it ourselves but it is then going through the appropriate channels, raising the ones that are relevant and not making it about every small detail, just making sure every one of the major ones is correct.”

Meanwhile, Tandy revealed that Wales loosehead prop Wyn Jones is a doubt for the second Test against the Boks.

Jones was due to start last weekend’s first Test but was ruled out after suffering a shoulder injury in training, resulting in Rory Sutherland starting and Mako Vunipola being promoted to the bench.

It now looks like Jones could also miss the second Test but the Lions have opted against calling an injury replacement up to their squad in South Africa.

Out-half Dan Biggar will need to come through the return-to-play protocols after suffering a head injury in the first Test, while Scotland playmaker Finn Russell is now back in training after an Achilles injury and could come into contention for this weekend.

- Originally published at 11.39

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