Erasmus and SA Rugby opt against appeal and apologise for criticism of officials

By Sports Desk November 25, 2021

Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby have withdrawn their intention to appeal against sanctions imposed and have apologised to match officials for misconduct during the British and Irish Lions series.

South Africa director of rugby Erasmus was last week banned from all rugby activities for two months and suspended from matchday activities until September 30 next year.

Erasmus was in hot water after he accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

The World Cup-winning coach also made the claims in a 62-minute video clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

World Rugby last week revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

The 49-year-old was also warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials, while a fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning over the governing body's conduct going forward.

Both Erasmus and SA Rugby stated they would exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts, but both parties have now decided against challenging the sanctions.

A statement released by SA Rugby on Thursday said: "SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks' Series against the British and Irish Lions.

"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."

A World Rugby statement said: "World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed."

Related items

  • Spain lose appeal against disqualification from 2023 Rugby World Cup Spain lose appeal against disqualification from 2023 Rugby World Cup

    Spain's appeal over their disqualification from the 2023 Rugby World Cup has been dismissed, with Romania taking their place in next year's tournament.

    Los Leones booked a place in the competition for the first time in 24 years in March through the Rugby Europe Championship.

    However, World Rugby announced in April that Spain had been booted out of the competition after being found to have fielded an ineligible player in two preliminary matches.

    South African Gavin Van den Berg played twice for Spain, but his eligibility was questioned by rivals Romania, with World Rugby deciding he did not fit the criteria.

    To qualify on residency rules, players involved in qualifying needed to have lived in their chosen country for 36 consecutive months.

    The Spanish Rugby Federation (FER) pinned the blame on an alleged forgery of Van den Berg's passport, and they submitted new evidence to help support their appeal.

    However, it was ruled inadmissible because the FER "had not adequately explained" why the evidence had not been made available prior to the first hearing.

    World Rugby therefore upheld the previous decision and added that Spain – who also suffered a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player in their failed 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign – had no further right to appeal.

    Romania will replace Spain in Pool B, which also contains Ireland, Scotland, reigning world champions South Africa and either an Asian or Pacific qualifier.

    Portugal will take Romania's place in the Final Qualification Tournament in November 2022, with the competition itself scheduled to begin in France on September 8 next year.

  • England head coach Jones will 'thrive' under pressure on Australia tour, says ex-assistant Ella England head coach Jones will 'thrive' under pressure on Australia tour, says ex-assistant Ella

    Glen Ella says Eddie Jones will be thriving on coming under fire and expects England to step up when they face Australia in a three-match Test series next month.

    The 62-year-old heads back to his homeland with the Red Rose smarting from a chastening warm-up hammering at the hands of the Barbarians following a disappointing Six Nations campaign.

    Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his England tenure, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

    Ella, a former school-mate of Jones who also played club rugby with him at Randwick and was his assistant six years ago, feels he will conjure up a response with his back against the wall and with key men to return.

    "I sit here laughing when I see some of the press that is coming out of England," he told The Guardian. "Some of it is warranted, there’s no doubt about that, but this is what he thrives on.

    "They’ll come over here and put three good games together, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    "He thrives under that kind of pressure and that probably brings the best out of him, especially away from England, in an environment that he knows.

    "He probably left not on the best terms in Australia but the one thing about Eddie is that he’s got a lot of belief in himself and a lot of belief in his team."

    The Wallabies will have a point to prove after failing to get the better of England under Jones and they are a different proposition under Dave Rennie.

    "It’s harder coaching a foreign team, as Eddie is finding at the moment, and to win the Australian public over they need to win the series," Ella added.

    "But it’s a different Australia these days and especially with the Super Rugby sides on the up, there’s big expectation. England have beaten the Australians eight times under Eddie and so [Australia’s] got a lot to answer for."

     

  • Schmidt to coach All Blacks ahead of first Ireland Test due to COVID-19 cases Schmidt to coach All Blacks ahead of first Ireland Test due to COVID-19 cases

    Joe Schmidt will help New Zealand prepare for the first Test against Ireland at Eden Park on Saturday after head coach Ian Foster and two of his assistants tested positive for COVID-19.

    Foster and assistant coach John Plumtree tested positive for coronavirus at the weekend and Scott McLeod is the latest coach to contract the virus.

    Former Ireland head coach Schmidt will work with the New Zealand squad this week in the absence of that trio.

    Centres David Havili and Jack Goodhue have also tested positive for COVID-19, so Braydon Ennor has been called up to join the squad in Auckland.

    Foster said: "Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday's training this week, and we're really grateful to have his help.

    "We've planned for this kind of disruption and we've got back-up plans and people on standby.  Joe was one of those people we could call on."

    Foster added: "I've got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us.

    "Everyone has had to deal with these kinds of disruptions over the past couple of years. This is a real opportunity for the coaching group and team to pull together."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.