Rassie Erasmus banned from rugby for two months over Lions tour conduct

South Africa’s director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has been banned from all rugby activity for two months after six charges of misconduct against him were upheld. The charges were brought by World Rugby in response to Erasmus’ behaviour towards match officials during the Springboks’ 2-1 series victory over the British and Irish Lions in the summer.

Erasmus is also suspended from all match-day activities, including coaching and media engagement, fino a 30 settembre 2022. It means the mastermind of South Africa’s 2019 World Cup triumph will play no part in Saturday’s clash with England at Twickenham.

Erasmus and SA Rugby, who also faced two charges, have confirmed in a statement that they will appeal against the decisions. Erasmus used social media to highlight refereeing inconsistencies, starting with the Lions’ defeat to South Africa A, and after the first Test released an hour-long video critiquing the performance of the officials.

The charges upheld by an independent misconduct committee included attacking, disparaging and/or denigrating the game and match officials and not accepting the authority of match officials.

The first charge said Erasmus 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 made good on that threat. Erasmus has also been given warning as to his future conduct and must apologise to the relevant match officials.

SA Rugby was charged with allowing Erasmus to commit acts of misconduct and for permitting the captain, Siya Kolisi, and the assistant coach Mzwandile Stick to make comments at a press conference on 30 July that were not “disciplined or sporting and adversely affected the game of rugby”.

Both counts were upheld by the independent misconduct committee, which fined the union 20,000, issued a warning over future conduct and ordered an apology be made to the relevant match officials.

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