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Fresh twist in Erasmus controversy as New York lawyers enter fray

By Liam Heagney

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Battle lines have hardened in the explosive Rassie Erasmus versus World Rugby standoff after the latest twist in the saga saw MVM Holdings, the USA-based consortium that owns a majority stake in the Durban-based Sharks, suggest they are ready to legally back the Springboks director of rugby in his upcoming misconduct hearing. 


No date has been set for when Erasmus and SA Rugby will face their World Rugby hearing for comments regarding match official performance during the Test series versus the Lions. 

It was last Thursday when an unprecedented 62-minute, 26-clip video review of the first Test became public after Erasmus filmed it two days earlier and it was only on Monday that World Rugby confirmed that the 2019 World Cup-winning Springboks boss and his employer had a case to answer. 

Video Spacer

The explosive Rassie Erasmus video
Video Spacer
The explosive Rassie Erasmus video

Erasmus’ scattergun video had the first Test referee, Australian Nic Berry, very much in the crosshairs, while there were also complaints about local South African TMO Marius Jonker.

The list of punishments for Erasmus and SA Rugby if the World Rugby misconduct charge is upheld are extensive, ranging from forfeiture of a match, fines, reprimands and a whole load more. But they now have American legal support to tap into if needed to help fight their case.

Marco Masotti heads up MVM Holdings, the company that has owned a 51 per cent stake in the Sharks since January 2021, and he took to social media to announce they will help Erasmus and co from a legal standpoint. “I have a team of New York lawyers ready to take care of Rassie and SA Rugby. Let us put World Rugby on trial…”, tweeted Masotti on Wednesday.


World Rugby had stated on Monday: “The extensive and direct nature of the comments made by Rassie Erasmus within a video address, in particular, meets the threshold to be considered a breach of World Rugby regulation 18 (misconduct and code of conduct) and will now be considered by an independent disciplinary panel. The date and panel will be confirmed in due course.”


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