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Rassie Erasmus suspended by World Rugby

By Ian Cameron
Siya Kolisi (Captain) of South Africa and Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby) of South Africa speaks ahead of the 2022 Castle Lager Outgoing Tour match between France and South Africa at Orange Velodrome on November 12, 2022 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been suspended by World Rugby after a string of Tweets over two weekends which focused on refereeing decisions during the first two rounds of the Autumn Nations Series.


South Africa fell to a 30-26 defeat against the French in Marseille on Saturday, a game which featured a number of controversial moments, including two red cards being handed out by referee Wayne Barnes.

Erasmus, who has just finished a near year-long matchday ban for posting a video about referee Nic Berry’s performance in the first British & Irish Lions Test, again posted videos in the wake of his side’s loss to France, having also done so following defeat to Ireland a week earlier.

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Today Erasmus Tweeted that accusations that his videos have led to threats against Wayne Barnes are ‘completely unfounded’ and he argued that his videos ‘were not aimed at the officials, but to our SA fans on what we should do better’.

RugbyPass understands that World Rugby have been in dialogue with SA Rugby and that following that process the decision has been made to suspend the DoR for two games.

A World Rugby statement reads: “World Rugby has reviewed the recent social media posts by SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus that relate to match officiating in the Autumn Nations Series.

“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.

“In addition, under the Match Officials Communication Framework, national teams have the ability to enter into a confidential feedback process, which is critical for success in a high-performance environment. The success of these communications relies on direct and honest feedback which is delivered and received in a confidential way.”

Erasmus is now banned for two matches.

“In line with the Framework, World Rugby has the ability to impose a sanction where a breach has occurred. Having considered the matter World Rugby has issued a two-match ban against Rassie Erasmus and accordingly he may not take part in any match day activity in relation to the two upcoming test matches that South Africa has against Italy on 19 November, 2022 and England on 26 November, 2022. The ban includes engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials.”



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Godfrey 574 days ago

Rory is distorting the argument and possibly click baiting here. Ignore him guys. Some of his insults are typical of a minority here in NZ that like to stereotype South Africans in a negative sense. I hope he is just a Pom sticking up for his under fire countryman because if he is a kiwi he is being hypocritical. Here the outcry from New Zealand rugby, the media and the public following NZ's exit from RWC 2007 was way more intense. Wayne Barnes was once again the ref in the quarter final played in Cardiff where NZ lost 20-18 in another game v France - funny that - and missed the forward pass which together with a questionable carding of an AB player "cost them the match" - the words of NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs on a Radio NZ interview. Strange he wasn't sanctioned by World Rugby too?

Punters here took to Wikipedia and published a obituary stating Barnsie had been lynched after the game and in a typical kiwi way of taking the piss (pun intended) out of the situation an effigy of Barnes was set up in the restroom of a Queenstown {NZ} establishment.

Peter 575 days ago

Apart from RANTING, what solutions to the problem of poor officiating is Rassie proposing?

Does he want more referees on the field, more time for repeated video replays, maybe 4 or 15 hour games to make sure every single call is 100% correct? What's going to happen when a scrum collapses, is the referee able to make a call based on what's in front of them or should it go to video and be replayed over and over until the correct decision can be determined. Are you going to review every play in a game for offside? Well good luck with that. Rugby decisions are not always black and white but subjective calls - some will go your way and some will not.

I think we need less intervention rather than more - just let the game flow and enjoy it.

Bill 575 days ago

ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Rugby Union! World Rugby? The problem rugby union has is that a lot of players, coaches and the games governing officers are all suffering from macho egos and damaged brains. Bit like some world leaders at present. I'd rather go for a walk on Saturday afternoon these days than watch pumped jockstraps strutting about like fighting cocks on top of a midden. Get a CT scan. Good health, BillR

Chris 575 days ago

Only when England gets dodgy calls in the RWC quarter finals 2023 and gets sent back over the English Channel to watch the finals from the comfort of an arm chair will World Rugby decide to sharpen up their act!

Albert 575 days ago

Two wrongs don't make a right….

They don't argue the facts, only he did not follow process…

Wayne Barnes best rugby match official in the world🙄

The way this is going I rather watch some golf✍️

Peter 575 days ago

What has he been suspended from - ranting? Given that his year long ranting ban had no positive impact on his capacity to rant whatsoever I shouldn't think he'll be to bothered.

rod 575 days ago

I’m a Kiwi & I think he maybe going a little over the top but the rules do need to change around the defensive team getting pinged after a maul! I didn’t see the game but a double movement is a penalty & the communication between ref & tmo was cut off apparently! You can’t blame the ref but how about the broadcasting from the French television? Is this a sign for the World Cup next year? Only show certain angles when it suits! It’s a win at all costs when the northern hemisphere with billions of $$ have to have a cup winner !

George 575 days ago

What more needs to be said?

Thomas 575 days ago

World Rugby is a disgrace ! World Rugby is corrupt ! World Rugby is a NH old boys club ! World Rugby should immediately step down !

Peter 575 days ago

I hear Rassie is planning to do an extended video where he 100% supports the officials and fully agrees with every decision they make in a match but it has been delayed until well South Africa actually win a game.

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