Ex-Springboks coach Erasmus banned for two months for referee rant

·2-min read
Rassie Erasmus joined South Africa after a spell with Munster (AFP/Geoff Caddick)

South Africa's World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus has been banned for two months after releasing a video criticising refereeing decisions, World Rugby said on Wednesday.

Erasmus, who moved to the director of rugby position with South Africa after the 2019 World Cup win, published a 62-minute video slamming the role played by official Nic Berry during July's first Test loss to the British and Irish Lions.

World Rugby brought half a dozen charges against former international back-rower Erasmus for various breaches of the body's regulations.

"An independent misconduct committee has found that behaviour displayed by SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus towards match officials during this year’s Test series between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions constituted misconduct," World Rugby said in a statement.

"Having considered all the evidence, including oral evidence from the match officials, Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby, World Rugby, and submissions from the parties the committee found all six charges against Mr Erasmus proved."

The body added Erasmus had "brought the game into disrepute when he published or caused to be published the Erasmus Video."

Erasmus was also suspended from "all match-day activities", including coaching, contact with match officials and media duties until September 30, 2022.

He is set to miss this weekend's re-run of the 2019 final with England at Twickenham as well as next summer's Test series and a large part of the Rugby Championship due to the decision.

South Africa Rugby were fined £20,000 ($27,000) for two charges.

The misconduct committee found SA Rugby had failed to make sure Erasmus followed the global body's regulations.

Additionally they did not prevent Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick from making comments during a press conference "that were not disciplined or sporting".

SA Rugby and Erasmus said they will appeal the decision.

"Both parties confirmed they will exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts," they said.

"Neither party will make any further comment until the process is complete."

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