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Dramatic U-turn by Erasmus and SA Rugby as they issue an apology

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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Springboks director Rassie Erasmus and South Africa Rugby have dramatically done a U-turn on their initial intention to appeal last week’s judicial hearing verdict, stating they will now NOT appeal the severe punishments handed down to them. It was November 17 when the verdict emerged into the misconduct case dating back to the tension-filled Springboks versus Lions Test series which started in Cape Town on July 24.


The judicial outcome was that Erasmus was banned from all rugby activity for two months with immediate effect, starting with last weekend’s Springboks match versus England in London at the end of the Autumn Nations Series.

He was also banned from any involvement on a matchday until September 30 next year, while SA Rugby must also pay a fine of £20,000. Both Erasmus and SA Rugby must also apologise for their actions. 

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With an hour of that verdict emerging on Wednesday of last week, both Erasmus and SA Rugby signalled that they would exercise their right to appeal. However, they have since had a change of heart and a media release issued on Thursday afternoon declared that the matter was now over and they would not be challenging the verdict. 

The statement read: “SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks’ series against the British and Irish Lions.

“We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their notice of appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the judicial committee. This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.


“We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months.”

In response, World Rugby commented: “World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed.”

  • Click here for the full 80-page written judgment from the Erasmus/SA Rugby vs World Rugby judicial hearing 


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