Fresh twist in Erasmus versus Woodward battle
South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has had another pop at Clive Woodward this week after the Englishman criticised the Springboks’ style of play.
England’s World Cup winning coach recently wrote in the Daily Mail that rugby will be dead in five years if teams go down the same route as the world champions, following their losing display against Australia last Sunday.
“Positive, imaginative, attacking rugby is the way forward generally,” Woodward wrote. “I looked on in horror last weekend at the sheer poverty and boredom from the South Africa team against Australia. Rugby was not – and is not – meant to be played like that and I’m just pleased Australia won.
“The Boks’ series against the Lions was little better and it should worry everyone involved in the sport that rugby is going down that route. It will be dead in five years if it does.”
Erasmus has taken umbrage to these comments by Woodward, and recently spoke out on Twitter. He wrote: “Let’s just soak up his wisdom my friend!! I think most of the teams will listen to him and adapt!!”
Hey Xola lets just soak up his wisdom my friend !! I think most of the teams will listen to him and adapt !! https://t.co/xNC3CFBPBh
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) September 17, 2021
Now this seems like Erasmus is paying a compliment to his fellow World Cup winning coach at face value, however, a closer look at Erasmus’ other Tweets directed at Woodward suggest otherwise, as they have been dripping in sarcasm. The South African is clearly irritated by Woodward’s constant jibes about the Springboks’ style of play. Woodward also commented on Erasmus’ role as a water boy during the British & Irish Lions series and how that may undermine Jacques Nienaber. In the end it clearly did not.
Erasmus is currently staying in South Africa as he awaits the outcome of his World Rugby hearing regarding his infamous video tape, but will be hoping the Springboks bounce back from their 28-26 loss to the Wallabies last Sunday when they face each other again tomorrow.