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SA Rugby statement: Discussions with World Rugby

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

SA Rugby have said that they have held constructive discussions with World Rugby following the banning of Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus for two games for his use of social media.

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Erasmus completes a two-game ban on matchday involvement incurred for publishing a series of critical tweets about officials, some of which resulted in English referee Wayne Barnes being targeted with online abuse.

The suspension was imposed a month after Erasmus completed a year-long ban for publishing a video critiquing the performance of Australian referee Nic Berry during the 2021 Lions tour.

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Now it has been confirmed that behind the scenes discussions between World Rugby and SA Rugby have taken place.

“World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, and World Rugby Director of Rugby, Phil Davies, met with South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general.

“Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions.

“There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players.

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“Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.”

Former Springboks captain John Smit declared earlier this week that Erasmus’ conduct had made the national team “so easy to dislike” and Kolisi admits it would be better for the game if the friction can be addressed.

Yesterday Siya Kolisi called for a resolution to Rassie Erasmus’ stand off with World Rugby.

We are learning and hopefully something is reached where both parties are happy going forward and it gets resolved,” South Africa skipper Kolisi said. “It’s good for rugby to have that kind of stuff resolved. We are all part of the rugby family and families do fight and don’t see eye to eye at times.

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additional reporting PA

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