Bernard Jackman has said Rassie Erasmus' touchline antics are nothing new and merely symptomatic of an incredibly "hands-on" style that sees the South African go to extreme lengths to convey his message.

Erasmus - the Springboks' director of rugby - irritated British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland during the warm-up game between South Africa 'A' and the Lions.

He was acting as the home team's waterboy but could be seen delivering tactical instructions to players during breaks in play.

"World Rugby regulations say a coach or a manager can't be in the technical area on the side of the pitch," Gatland complained.

"I suppose they argue he’s not the head coach, he’s the director of rugby.

"'I'm not too worried about it. I’m not sure it’s the greatest look for the game but that’s their decision and I’ll just live with that. They’ll make that call and they’re not breaking the laws of the game in terms of guidelines."

Speaking to the RTÉ Rugby Podcast, Jackman said such behaviour should be no surprise to anyone who has followed Erasmus' career.

"Jacques Nienaber [now the Boks head coach] was a physio for Rassie Eramsus back at the Cheetahs.

"Rassie Erasmus trained him to be a defence coach so he could manipulate the rules in being a physio on the field.

"So even when we watched Munster... if Munster were stick on their own goal line, Jacques Nienaber was behind them telling fellahs were to go et cetera, telling them how to defend from scrums!

"Obviously Jacques is now the head coach so they needed to flip that. Rassie is making sure the message being transferred from above to the players is spot on. The beauty of it is, if he doesn't agree with the message he can actually change it himself!

"In fairness they are every much aligned. I think that's why getting Felix [Jones, the backs coach] in pre-World Cup was huge for them because he didn't want to have any changes. He wanted a coaching team that understood what he liked and trusted."

Jackman believes the needle between both camps ahead of Saturday's first Test is no harm, as long as it doesn't cross the line.

"I find Rassie fascinating," he added." He's a great character, a great rugby man, and I think the little bits of conflict and bickering between himself and Gatland are interesting to be honest. It's not disrespectful. It's been done in a decent way so far and hopefully that continues.

"Rassie, when he coached the Cheetahs, went on to the roof of the stadium with a colour code system.

"When there was a scrum or a lineout, the scrum-half would look up, Erasmus would flash certain colours and that meant what the call was.

"He has always been a coach who's been hands-on dictatorship - this is what you do in a certain situation. He's only following on from that. He's not changing."

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