World Rugby have sanctioned the South African director of rugby after a misconduct hearing on his behaviour towards match officials during the Lions tour

Rassie Erasmus banned from rugby for two months

World Rugby have banned Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus from all rugby activities for two months, after ruling that his behaviour towards match officials during the recent British & Irish Lions 2021 series constituted misconduct.

Erasmus is also banned from taking part in match days until October 2022, including coaching, contact with match officials and media engagement.

The 49-year-old produced an extensive video in July following South Africa’s first Test loss to the Lions. According to World Rugby the video contained “premediated, multiple abusive and insulting comments and attacks on the officials’ integrity”.

Shortly after the verdict, SARU released a statement saying: “Both parties confirmed they will exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts.”

An independent misconduct committee chaired by Christopher Quinlan QC, together with Nigel Hampton QC and Judge Mike Mika (both New Zealand) ruled that SA Rugby should pay a fine of £20,000, while they and Erasmus were handed a warning for future conduct and informed that each should send an apology to the relevant match officials.

Six charges were brought by World Rugby against Erasmus for various breaches of World Rugby Regulation 18 and World Rugby’s Code of Conduct.

Related: South Africa Team to play England

World Rugby stated: “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 charges were:

1: threatened a match official that unless a requested meeting took place he would publish footage containing clips criticising the match official’s performance and then making good on that threat.

2: attacked, disparaged and/or denigrated the game and officials.

3: did not accept or observe the authority and decisions of match officials

4: published or caused to be published criticism of the manner in which a match official handled a match.

5: engaged in conduct or activity that may impair public confidence in the integrity and good character of match official(s).

6: brought the game into disrepute when he published or caused to be published the Erasmus Video.

 

South Africa face England at Twickenham on Saturday 20 November, with kick-off at 3pm.

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.