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Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby apologise and withdraw appeal over World Rugby ban

Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby apologise and withdraw appeal over World Rugby ban thumbnail
Erasmus was on the sidelines during South Africa’s recent win over Scotland

South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has apologised and withdrawn his appeal against his World Rugby suspension.

The 49-year-old was sanctioned for an hour-long video criticising the refereeing in July’s first-Test defeat by the British and Irish Lions.

He had been banned from all rugby for two months and from involvement with the Boks on matchdays for a year.

But Erasmus and SA Rugby have now apologised to the match officials.

Their statement added: “We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their Notice of Appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Committee.

“This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.

“We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months.”

The public apology was required by World Rugby as part of their sanctions.

In response, they said they considered the matter closed.

The governing body found the video contained “multiple abusive and insulting comments and attacks on the officials”.

And it described his offences as “especially serious and egregious”.

It added that “Erasmus appears not to appreciate the corrosive effect his behaviour has on the game more widely, as well as the viewing public and press”.

Erasmus’ video highlighted 38 incidents he felt his side had been on the wrong side of, and also claimed Springbok captain Siya Kolisi had not been treated with the same respect afforded his Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones.

World Rugby revealed the video appeared online after Erasmus telephoned Australian referee Nic Berry demanding a meeting to discuss his performance.

He stepped down from his role as head coach in the wake of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup triumph in 2019 to become South Africa’s director of rugby.

However, he has been conspicuous at many of the Springboks’ games, most recently in their win over Scotland, working as a water carrier for the team.

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