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Rassie ban: Will SA Rugby jump to Bok boss’s defense? ‘We’re still digesting it’

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  • SA Rugby has been put between a rock and a hard place with the two-match ban issued to its director of rugby Rassie Erasmus by World Rugby’s governing body.
  • Erasmus will miss Saturday’s Test against Italy in Genoa and next week’s game against England at Twickenham.
  • The ban is World Rugby’s second Erasmus ban in the space of a year after last year’s ban.

in Genoa

Will SA Rugby stand firm in support of their rugby director Rassie Erasmus, or will they retire and accept their fate?

That is a question that will have to be answered sooner rather than later as the organization grapples with the second Erasmus ban at the hands of World Rugby.

After a week of inaction following Erasmus’ continued use of Twitter to highlight match refereeing issues on his team’s European tour, the governing body flexed its muscles on Thursday when it issued a two-match ban for Erasmus that isolated him. of match day activities. for Saturday’s test against Italy at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and next week’s Twickenham fixture against England.

READ | Rassie banned again: Springbok boss punished for social media comments about refereeing

The ban also extended to engagement with the media and social media in relation to referees, meaning Erasmus cannot tweet about refereeing decisions for the Boks’ end-of-season matches.

News24 reached out to SA Rugby for comment, and the organisation’s chairman, Mark Alexander, said they were thinking about the news.

“SA Rugby have seen the statement and they are still digesting it,” Alexander said.

Erasmus was also contacted for comment, but was not available to do so, in accordance with the rules of the new ban.

Erasmus’ battle with World Rugby, fresh after last year’s ban over Nic Berry’s leaked video targeting the Australian referee’s mistakes in the first test for the British & Irish Lions on July 24 last year, began on November 6, the day after the 19-16 loss against Ireland in Dublin, where he highlighted an inconsistency of refereeing by match official Nika Amashukeli.

Equipment:

Italy

15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Danilo Fischetti

Substitutes: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 David Sisi, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Edoardo Padovani, 23 Tommaso Menoncello

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Evan Roos, 22 Cobus Reinach, 23 Manie Libbok

Erasmus then ramped it up after last week’s memorable 30-26 loss to France in Marseille, where in a series of tweets, he highlighted Wayne Barnes’ mistakes in the game.

The game also contained a controversial moment where Sipili Falatea’s 74th-minute attempt appeared to have contained an element of illegality via a double move, but the TV screens at the Stade Velodrome went black, while Barnes lost. Contact your TV officer Brian MacNeice.

In an interview with Rugby Rama, World Rugby chief match officials Joel Jutge, a former test referee, appeared to take issue with Erasmus’ actions.

Jutge, who retired from refereeing in 2009, said Erasmus’s behavior was regrettable and that he failed to take into account his actions that led to his first sanction last year.

READ | Hero or villain? Twitter reacts to latest Rassie ban from World Rugby

“He chose this communication channel several months ago. He had more or less done the same during the last tour of the British Lions in South Africa (summer 2021) and closer to us, after the recent defeat of the Springboks in Ireland (19-19). 16),” Jutge told RugbyRama.

“We regret this behavior because we at World Rugby have established a system of communication and exchange with coaches that works quite well.

READ | World Rugby’s deafening silence echoes as Rassie stands firm on Twitter criticism

“Therefore, we are very disappointed that you are using social media to express your reservations about the refereeing of this or that party. It is counterproductive and totally inappropriate.”

Jutge told the French publication that match officials are attacked over Erasmus’ tweets and that he had met with Barnes after Saturday’s test.

“All referees are affected by these attacks on referees in general and on Wayne Barnes last weekend,” Jutge told the publication.

READ | Is Rassie Erasmus upsetting a World Rugby refereeing bear that got him in trouble again?

“By doing so, Erasmus opens the door to violent behavior and, behind it, entire families are insulted and affected.

“It’s extremely dangerous, but some people think that if the South African coach talks about a referee like that, they have the right to do it too.

“There are things that, in my opinion, need to be resolved internally. These sensitive issues cannot end up in the public square.”

Saturday’s test at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris begins at 15:00 (SA time).

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