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Erasmus confirms his ban is over and names his stadium return

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

September 30 is a momentous day in the Springboks career of Rassie Erasmus as the ten-month ban handed down to the SA director of rugby by World Rugby has finally expired. It was November 17 last year, just days before South Africa were due to take on England at Twickenham, when an independent misconduct committee found that the behaviour of Erasmus towards match officials during the 2021 Test series against the British and Irish Lions constituted misconduct.

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Six charges were brought by World Rugby against Erasmus for various breaches of regulation 18 and the governing body’s code of conduct and after all six charges were proved, he was suspended with immediate effect from all rugby activities for two months and also banned from all match-day activities (including coaching, contact with match officials, and media engagement) with immediate effect until September 30, 2022.

With this lengthy punishment now served, Erasmus is free to return to the game without restriction and the expectation is that he will a prominent figure when the Springboks tour Europe in November, a trip that begins with the November 5 Test match in Dublin versus Ireland and concludes at Twickenham versus England on November 26.

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Not that Erasmus was completely silenced during his ban. In the past ten months, he generated for himself quite a reputation on Twitter with an array of thoughts and videos. This past week, for instance, he thanked Springboks fans for supporting their team at home matches this season – “We had a total of 297,298 fans in attendance, at 98.91 per cent of full capacity of the six stadiums. We nothing without you!!”

Erasmus also filmed a video giving away three tickets to last Saturday’s Rugby Championship game against Argentina in Durban, the last Springboks Test match covered by his ban ahead of his milestone 50th birthday which he will soon be celebrating in Dublin. “I want to thank the people out there who carried me through this ban. Tomorrow [last Saturday] is the last one and actually on my birthday, November 5, I am back allowed into the stadiums.”

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