Rugby World Cup: Semi-final previews
South African energy drink company Switch Energy have made a brutal dig at the Welsh rugby team after their disappointing exit from the Rugby World Cup at the hands of Argentina. Warren Gatland’s side were tipped to reach the semi-finals after being handed what was perceived to be a favourable draw, but lost 29-17 to the Pumas and swiftly packed their bags to leave France.
Wales are still searching for their first-ever World Cup, having never reached the final and their continued woes were brought up by the drinks company, who are official partners of the South African national team, as they mocked the Welsh in a new TV advert set in a school.
A science teacher shouted at two students who were disrupting the class, calling them “Rassie and Jacques” in reference to Springbok’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and head coach Jacques Nienaber.
As the teacher attempted to continue the lesson he said: “So this is a human skeleton…” before the Rassie character interrupted and shouted: “No, sir! That’s a Welshman waiting to win their first World Cup!”
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The entire class erupted in laughter at the Welsh’s record at the tournament, to which the teacher replied: “You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if one day you end up as a water boy.”
The two cheeky boys bumped fists after the water boy reference – as Erasmus acted in that position during the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2021 as the director of rugby convened the rules to allow him to enter the field of play and give instructions to players during the match.
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@switch_energy Our favourite WATER BOY! ������������ #SwitchYourEnergy #yourenergy #DrinkSwitch ♬ original sound- Switch Energy Drink
World Rugby then altered their rules to disallow Erasmus from repeating his trick. The new law said: “Teams will be permitted up to two dedicated water carriers, but it cannot be a director of rugby or head coach.”
Despite another disappointing World Cup campaign, Gatland has insisted that he wants to stay on – even though there was talk of a break clause in his contract that takes him to the 2027 tournament.
“If the union want to get rid of me, that’s up to them,” he said in a press conference before confirming that he wants to stay for at least another four years. “Absolutely. That’s the plan. I had a joke with Nigel [Walker, interim WRU chief executive] before and said ‘You can’t get rid of me’.
“I think my contract said if we didn’t get out of the pool they had a clause that said they could get rid of me. I said: ‘If you do want to pay me off that’s up to you’. But I’m excited what we can do as a group.”
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