World Rugby ban the South Africa director of rugby for two matches following recent social media posts

It’s Déjà vu all over again – South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus banned from “all match day activities for two matches” due to his recent social media posts during the Autumn Nations Series.

Erasmus had previously been banned from taking part in match days between November last year and October 2022, after the game’s governing body ruled his behaviour towards match officials during the British & Irish Lions 2021 series constituted misconduct. Having recently returned to the Test game, Erasmus has not held back from posting on Twitter about incidents in recent matches – though Erasmus has since Tweeted that “Tweets were not aimed at the officials but to our fans.”

In their official statement, World Rugby said: “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. Having considered the matter World Rugby has issued a two-match ban against Rassie Erasmus and accordingly he may not take part in any match day 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.”

In their remaining Autumn International fixtures, the Springboks play Italy and then England. Amazon Prime Video will be showing all the action live in the UK and Ireland.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.