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27th Jul 2021

Warren Gatland with great response after being asked if he’ll set up Twitter account

Patrick McCarry

Warren Gatland

“They were very direct. We’re expecting more of the same.”

Warren Gatland was up on press duty, this afternoon, and the Twitter activity of Rassie Erasmus was always going to come up.

The Springbok’s director of rugby has been making the most of his Twitter account, in recent weeks, but really ramped up his game after the Lions’ First Test win, on Saturday.

Erasmus was initially gracious in defeat and then took to sharing and quote-tweeting posts about foul play by the Lions. He has now twice quote-tweeted videos from a Twitter user called ‘Jaco Johan’ – coincidentally the only two posts that have ever gone out on the account.

That has led to some suggesting that Erasmus is using ‘Jaco Johan’ as his burner account, and one to cast aspersions on the Lions. Asked about it at a press briefing, today, the former Munster director of rugby said:

“It’s actually why I’m at the press conference. I was feeling sorry for Jacques [Nienaber] because I knew he would probably get that question. I’m actually not Jaco Johan, I’m Rassie Erasmus.

“I follow Jaco Johan because he is a big supporter of us and he’s been feeding me some really good clips for a while now. These are some things I’ve used in the past, he’s actually a big supporter and a really funny guy.

“And as to why I’m so active on Twitter, well, I just retweeted one or two things that I thought were quite accurate.”

Rassie Erasmus

Just over an hour later and Warren Gatland was up for his chat with the media. There were, of course, questions about the match-day 23 selected by the Lions, but there were a handful on the bizarre Twitter route the tour has taken.

Asked about Erasmus’ personal tweets, and quote-tweets, Gatland said:

“That’s a bit of a separate side-show… we’ve read the stories but I’ve not taken too much out of it”

The Kiwi was, later, asked if he ever considered setting up an account and responding to some of the claims. He remarked:

“No, I don’t even know how to get onto it and set up a Twitter account.

“I’d probably get too much abuse, so no point in that!”

Gatland made three changes to his starting XV to face South Africa, on Saturday, with Conor Murray, Chris Harris and Mako Vunipola all coming in from the off.

“The discussion was that if you’re going to make changes, you don’t make one, you make two or three,” he said. “We looked at individuals and ball in play time. Our bench was outstanding. That was the thinking.”


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