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'While you're at it' - Rassie hits out at Owen Farrell as war of words escalates


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Owen Farrell has had two controversial tackles highlighted by Rassie Erasmus as tensions continue to simmer ahead of the British and Irish Lions series against South Africa.


Erasmus has used social media to hit back at Warren Gatland for condemning a dangerous challenge made by Faf De Klerk on Josh Navidi at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Springboks director of rugby has posted footage of England captain Farrell leading with the shoulder when making contact with Jasper Wiese and then bringing down De Klerk with what appears to be a high tackle.

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It comes the day after Gatland said he would seek clarification from officials over the De Klerk hit on Navidi, suggesting it should have been a red card.

“It looked reckless to me. No arms and he’s hit the arm first and then the shoulder, but there’s definitely head-on-head contact,” said Gatland of a moment that was reviewed by referee Jaco Peyper and the TMO.

But alongside a video of Farrell tackling Wiese, Erasmus tweeted: “While you at it please get clarity on this also !! (Red circle and yellow circle emojis) penalty or play on ? We have to 100% sure and aligned ! Cant agree more.”

And with the second clip of De Klerk being hauled down, he added: “If there is time maybe also get absolute clarity and alignment on this one please, I know its way after the whistle, but lets just align and get clarity to be sure.”


Head coach Jacques Nienaber said he hadn’t seen the Tweets in question.

“I didn’t see the tweets and I didn’t see the comments of Warren but listen, that is why we have got world-class referees handling this and there are so many people that look at the game, there are committees I don’t even know how many of them, I am sure it had been well looked after and I trust the system on both sides. On Faf’s side, I believe they had all the evidence that they wanted to have and they had a good look at it and I trust the decisions that they make.

“That is why the referees are the CEO of the game, they know that safety is a big driver for World Rugby and for rugby so I just trust their judgment.

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'While you're at it' - Rassie hits out at Owen Farrell as war of words escalates