Warren Gatland warns England of Springboks’ ‘dark arts’ in pushing the boundaries

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has warned England of the Springboks’ “dark arts” as they push the boundaries of the game’s laws.

Gatland thinks that South Africa can be defeated by England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal, but Rassie Erasmus must be allowed to “control the agenda” by Steve Borthwick’s team.


Going head-to-head with Rassie Erasmus

“I know what it is like to go head-to-head with South Africa’s director of rugby, and my advice to Steve Borthwick would be to make sure he gets on the front foot ­- and combat any dark arts,” Gatland wrote in his latest column for the Telegraph.

“In order to stand a chance against the Springboks, you must try to equal them not only physically but also tactically and mentally.

Therefore, it will be crucial for Steve to communicate with his team this week about how they should behave, what to expect from the Springboks, and what they have been doing to counter the opposition.

The previous head coach of the British and Irish Lions was quite critical of Erasmus and his strategies for giving South Africa an advantage.

Offering advice to Borthwick, Gatland said that the England coach should be highlighting the number of head

In their victory against France, the Springboks underwent injury evaluations with World Rugby.

Although there had been rumors about them, Gatland remarked, “I am not questioning whether they were legitimate or not but I would certainly be putting it out there and highlighting that it looked unusual and raising questions about the protocol.”

“Rassie is really adept at expressing praise while also bringing up a point or message that he wants to make. He has already made fun of France during this World Cup by claiming that their players practice simulation.

Pushing the boundaries

Gatland also pointed to the Lions series in 2021 when Erasmus operated as a water boy and had the team physio

sending messages to the players while also leaking a video criticizing the officials.

There is “no doubt in my mind that the video had an influence on the officiating,” he continued, and despite Erasmus’s apology to him about the Lions series, the Boks continue to push the envelope.

He stated, “South Africa are still continuously pushing the limits within the rules of the game.

On the bench, they selected a 7/1 split of forwards and backs. Despite the fact that some may disagree, there is nothing wrong with following the rules of the game. In the best interests of their team, they are constantly searching for a competitive edge. In that case, it is not.


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