Springboks: Warren Gatland criticises Rassie Erasmus over ‘indefensible’ behaviour towards referees

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Former Wales and British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has criticised Rassie Erasmus over his Twitter videos appearing to criticise the match officials.

Gatland led the Lions on their tour to South Africa last year where Erasmus infamously produced an hour-long video picking apart the performance of referee Nic Berry from the first Test, a game they coincidently lost.

The Springboks director of rugby was subsequently banned for two months from all rugby activities and suspended from matchday activities for a further 10 months.

Character assassination

Berry also revealed the devastating impact Erasmus’ actions had on him and his family, describing it as a ‘character assassination’.

Despite apologising to the Australian official and serving a lengthy ban, it has not deterred the Boks director of rugby from posting videos on social media of decisions which have gone against the Boks.

After both the defeats to Ireland and France, the 50-year-old has taken to Twitter, receiving widespread criticism outside of South Africa for his social media posts.

“We don’t see other directors of rugby or head coaches doing the same thing. I think it’s a little bit disappointing,” Gatland wrote in the Telegraph.

“There is a process in place for people to do reports after games and get feedback. And I would like to see Rassie follow that process.

“I can’t particularly see a defence there for what he’s doing. I don’t think it’s a great look for the game. The last thing we need is coaches taking this [social] media [approach] and making comments about the game.”

Gatland revealed the process coaches go through in sending feedback to the match officials and also hoped the hierarchy at SA Rugby would deter Erasmus from doing it again.


“After every game, you pick out things and send in clips where you want clarification and that’s the process you go through,” he added.

“Referees, the good ones, will come back and put their hands up on calls they’ve got wrong and you accept that, because it’s human nature.

“We’re going to make mistakes, they can’t see everything, things are happening so quickly and you understand people aren’t going to see every situation.

“I just think as coaches and administrators, there is a process and we need to keep our counsel.

“You would like to think that someone will pull Erasmus aside, whether it’s someone from the South African Rugby Union or their CEO or there’s a phone call, to tell Rassie: ‘I don’t think you’re doing yourself any favours, or World Rugby any favours by putting these things out on social media’.”

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The article Springboks: Warren Gatland criticises Rassie Erasmus over ‘indefensible’ behaviour towards referees appeared first on Planetrugby.com.