'He does not come back on the pitch' - The latest bizarre waterboy incident
Once again an incident involving a water carrier is making rugby headlines – this time in the Gallagher Premiership.
Wasps’ waterboy at the Coventry Building Society Stadium was told to leave the field by referee Wayne Barnes and to not return after he was involved in a minor scuffle with Exeter Chiefs’ Henry Slade.
Slade went after an errant ball that had been thrown away by a Wasps player, when one of the home side’s waterboys, who was standing behind the posts, found himself in the England centre’s way. A tussle ensued, which then ignited a larger scuffle against the sponsor boards involving around 20 players.
After getting a rundown of the incident from the TMO, Barnes can be heard saying: “That water carrier over there does not come back on the pitch.”
What is it with waterboys at the moment? ??
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 16, 2021
What’s more, RugbyPass understands that this was the second Wasps waterboy sent to the sidelines by Barnes during the 80 minutes, with another member of the home side’s staff given his marching orders early in proceedings.
Former England No.8 Lawrence Dallaglio, who was on commentary for BT Sport, noted that “Water carriers and their role within the game is an ongoing debate.”
It’s the latest incident involving water carriers. During a recent Rugby Championship match between South Africa and New Zealand, referee Matthew Carley was forced to tell South Africa’s watercarrier to desist from harassing the linesman.
The Bok waterboy could be seen following the assistant referee up the sideline, talking to him to in an insistent manner after an attempted 50:22. On that occasion, Carley took the waterboy aside and warned him that he would send him off if he continued to harang the AR on the touchline. “If I see you chasing our touch judge up the line again, you’ll be off.”
After the game Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber told the press that he was behind the waterboy’s actions. “I’ll put my hand on up and say we got it wrong and we asked him to challenge. We were so sure but then we looked back at the video and saw that we got it completely wrong.”
The incidents have certainly opened up the debate around what’s appropriate behaviour for the water carriers.
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