CAPE TOWN, South Africa: South Africa director of rugby Rassie Eramsus was banned Wednesday for two months and barred from attending test matches in an official role for 10 months after the sports governing body found him guilty of misconduct for a video in which he criticized a referee during this years series against the British and Irish Lions.
The decision by World Rugby means the former Springboks coach cant play any part in South Africas season-ending test against England at Twickenham on Saturday. He was banned from all rugby activities until next year and wont be able to attend a Springboks game in any official capacity, or engage with media on the day of a match, until after Sept. 30, 2022.
Eramsus was found guilty of six counts of misconduct after a four-day hearing. In a little-known detail, World Rugby said Erasmus threatened a match official that unless the official met with him, he would publish video footage criticizing the official.
Erasmus went ahead and made good on that threat, World Rugby said.
The charges emanated from a 62-minute video World Rugby referred to it as the Erasmus Video that appeared online in July, where Erasmus sat looking at a camera and blasted Australian referee Nic Berry following South Africas loss to the Lions in the first test.
South African rugby body SA Rugby was also found guilty of two charges of misconduct for the actions of Erasmus and also comments regarding match officials made by captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick in the wake of the first test against the Lions.
SA Rugby was fined $27,000 and both SA Rugby and Erasmus were also warned about their future conduct and ordered to apologize to Berry and other match officials.
SA Rugby said in a statement that it and Erasmus would appeal.
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