Rassie Erasmus suspended by World Rugby again over social media rants

  • Erasmus video posts implied criticism of referee Wayne Barnes
  • Springbok director of rugby banned for two matches

Rassie Erasmus has been banned for two matches by World Rugby and will miss South Africa’s visit to Twickenham on 26 November following a series of social media posts which included implicit criticism of Wayne Barnes’ refereeing performance.

Erasmus posted a number of videos highlighting decisions made by Barnes in the Springboks’ narrow defeat by France last week accompanied by sarcastic comments. He did similar after South Africa’s defeat by Ireland, continuing his tendency to air grievances publicly rather than privately with World Rugby.

The Springboks director of rugby has only recently returned to matchday activities after a 12-month ban for the hour-long video he released during the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa in which he forensically criticised the performance of the Australian referee Nic Berry.

His latest social media posts have prompted World Rugby to act again, meaning Erasmus is banned from all matchday activities for Saturday’s fixture against Italy as well as South Africa’s trip to Twickenham seven days later. He is also suspended from “engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials”.

A World Rugby statement read: “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.”

Among the incidents highlighted by Erasmus was one involving France’s Thomas Ramos handing off Cheslin Kolbe with a forearm to the face as well as Willie le Roux being penalised for a forward pass. Alongside it he wrote: “I know guys and accept it, we really only have ourselves to blame as the French were awsome [sic] both on the field (players) and off the field (supporters)!! We just have to fix these fundamental errors like tackle technique and simple passing. Sorry SA we know.”


Gerard Meagher

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Springboks close ranks as Rassie Erasmus saga rolls into Twickenham
South Africa try to focus on rugby before England game and avoid comment on their director of rugby’s two-match ban

Gerard Meagher

22, Nov, 2022 @7:33 PM

Article image
Where is the consistency from World Rugby over Rassie Erasmus ban? | Ugo Monye
The decision to punish South Africa’s director of rugby for his video rant during the Lions tour took far too long

Ugo Monye

19, Nov, 2021 @9:00 PM

Article image
‘We have to respect referees’: Jones teases Erasmus over officials criticism
With South Africa’s Rassie Erasmus banned from Saturday’s match by World Rugby, England’s Eddie Jones said: ‘The referee’s in charge, if he makes mistakes let’s accept it’

Gerard Meagher

24, Nov, 2022 @6:00 PM

Article image
Rassie Erasmus attacks Lions refereeing again and offers to step aside
Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, posted an extraordinary video about the officiating and claimed Siya Kolisi was treated worse than Alun Wyn Jones

Robert Kitson in Cape Town

29, Jul, 2021 @11:31 AM

Article image
Death threats prompt RFU to demand further action taken against Erasmus
English rugby chiefs wrote an angry letter to their South Africa counterparts after referee Wayne Barnes and his family suffered a torrent of abuse

Gerard Meagher

18, Nov, 2022 @10:31 AM

Article image
Rassie Erasmus makes tackling jibe at Lions’ Owen Farrell
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has questioned the legality of Owen Farrell’s tackling technique on social media

Robert Kitson in Cape Town

16, Jul, 2021 @4:13 PM

Article image
South Africa’s Rassie Erasmus delivers final warning to England
South Africa’s head coach, Rassie Erasmus, said his team would not be taken by surprise by England in the Rugby World Cup final after they beat Wales 19-16 in the semi-finals

Paul Rees in Yokohama

27, Oct, 2019 @5:28 PM

Article image
South Africa’s Rassie Erasmus has abandoned grace and dignity | Robert Kitson
Rassie Erasmus’s behaviour during the Lions tour is within the rules, but does the sport no credit

Robert Kitson in Cape Town

26, Jul, 2021 @3:53 PM

Article image
Springboks rejuvenated before England tour after Rassie Erasmus shake-up
With Rassie Erasmus shaking things up in his first few months in charge, the Springboks no longer appear to be at rock bottom

Gerard Meagher

01, Jun, 2018 @3:01 PM

Article image
Japan are our World Cup enemy but we love the people, says Rassie Erasmus
South Africa have erased the memory of Brighton 2015 but ‘we know we are in for a very tough game’ on Sunday

Paul Rees in Tokyo

14, Oct, 2019 @3:38 PM