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Lions boss Gatland predicts what would happen if he joined Twitter

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Warren Gatland has quipped he won’t be rushing off to set up a Twitter account ahead of this Saturday’s second Test between the Lions and the Springboks in Cape Town. The social media platform has been thrust into the story surrounding the three-match series due to its use by Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks director of rugby. 


It was the week before the series opener that was won by the Lions when Erasmus tweeted an online response to a story about the tourists believing that Faf de Klerk should have been red-carded in the South Africa A win on July 14 for his high shot on Josh Navidi.

The South Africa boss attached footage of alleged foul play from Owen Farrell in the same match, and he then followed this public approach by commenting on a tweet critical of further alleged Lions foul play in last weekend’s first Test.

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Rassie Erasmus speaks about his use of Twitter
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Rassie Erasmus speaks about his use of Twitter

Erasmus’ use of social media has since drawn much criticism and he even had to deny the use this week of a burner account, insisting he had not been posting under the user name Jaco Johan. 

Asked if he would be taking to social media and adopting his South African counterpart’s tactics ahead of this Saturday’s rematch, Gatland quipped: “I don’t even know how to set up a Twitter account. I’d think I’d end up getting too much abuse, so there is no point in me doing that.

“I just think it is a bit of a separate sideshow,” he added about the online antics of Erasmus. “I haven’t really taken much notice of it. The focus has been on ourselves, just letting that happen outside of our stuff. We haven’t really been looking at that sort of stuff. We have heard the stories and yeah, I am just trying to stay out of stuff like that. I am not on social media and things. As I said, I haven’t really taken too much notice.”


Lions boss Gatland reckoned the Springboks would be feeling distressed in the lead-up to a game where the result could see the series decided in favour of the tourists with a match to spare. “They are going to be desperate,” he suggested. “They desperately want to stay in the series and we want the chance of winning the series on Saturday. 

“I have spoken to the players about that. We have just got to make sure that we are mentally right because you don’t want to be using your get out of jail card which is going to the third Test. You want to make the most of the opportunity we have created in winning the first Test and hopefully trying to seal a series victory on Saturday.”


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