Springboks: Rassie Erasmus receives another suspension after latest criticism of referees

Rassie Erasmus Springboks director of rugby v Ireland 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Rassie Erasmus Springboks director of rugby v Ireland 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has received a two-match suspension from World Rugby following his recent controversial social media posts.

That means he will be suspended from the Springboks‘ final Autumn Nations Series Tests against Italy and England.

Second suspension

Erasmus only recently completed a one-year ban after he criticised match officials in an hour-long video during the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

In his latest posts, whereby he put videos on social media, he appears to criticise referee Wayne Barnes‘ officiating during the Springboks’ 30-26 defeat to France in Marseille last weekend. It follows a similar social media post in which he seemingly questioned Ireland’s second try during the Boks’ 19-16 loss in Dublin a fortnight ago.

The 50-year-old subsequently claimed his latest tweets were not directed at referees, but World Rugby disagreed and have slammed him for his latest indiscretion.

World Rugby issued a statement on Thursday which said: “World Rugby has reviewed the recent social media posts by SA Rugby director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus that relate to match officiating in the Autumn Nations Series.

“Match officials are the backbone of the sport and without them there is no game. World Rugby condemns any public criticism of match official selection, performance or integrity, which undermines their role, the trust-based coach/match officials feedback process and the values of integrity, respect, solidarity and discipline that are at the heart of the sport.

“The behaviour of coaching staff and match officials are widely observed by fans, media and participants at every level, and such behaviours affect how the values are applied across the game.

“In addition, under the Match Officials Communication Framework, national teams have the ability to enter into a confidential feedback process, which is critical for success in a high-performance environment. The success of these communications relies on direct and honest feedback which is delivered and received in a confidential way.

“In line with the Framework, World Rugby has the ability to impose a sanction where a breach has occurred.

No involvement in matchday activity

“Having considered the matter World Rugby has issued a two-match ban against Rassie Erasmus and accordingly he may not take part in any matchday activity in relation to the two upcoming Test matches that South Africa has against Italy on 19 November, 2022 and England on 26 November, 2022.

“The ban includes engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials.”

READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series: Five storylines to watch including a titanic clash at Twickenham

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