British and Irish Lions rant lands Rassie Erasmus two-month rugby ban for misconduct

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned from all rugby activity for two months after six charges of misconduct against him were upheld for breaches during the British and Irish Lions’ summer tour.

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus during a South Africa training session at Peffermill Playing Fields, on November 09, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Erasmus, the mastermind of South Africa's 2019 World Cup triumph was part of the Springboks’ delegation at BT Murrayfield on Saturday when Scotland were beaten 30-15 by the visitors, but following the decision he will play no part in Saturday's clash with England at Twickenham.

SA Rugby, who also faced two charges, have confirmed that they will appeal against the decisions.

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Erasmus, full-name Johan, also faces a ban from all activities on match-day, including coaching and media engagement, that stretches until September 30 next year.

South Africa's Rassie Erasmus during the Autumn Nations Series match between Scotland and South Africa at BT Murrayfield, on November 13. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The charges were brought by World Rugby in response to his behaviour towards match officials during the South Africans’ 2-1 series victory over the British and Irish Lions in the summer. He used social media to highlight refereeing inconsistencies, starting with the Lions' defeat to South Africa 'A', and after the first Test released an hour-long video critiquing the performance of the officials.

The charges upheld by an independent misconduct committee included attacking, disparaging and/or denigrating the game and match officials and not accepting the authority of match officials.

The first charge said that Erasmus threatened a match official that unless a requested meeting took place, he would publish footage containing clips criticising the match official's performance and then made good on that threat.

Erasmus has also been warned over his future conduct and must apologise to the relevant match officials.

As national governing body, SA Rugby was also charged with allowing Erasmus to commit acts of misconduct and for permitting captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick to make comments at a press conference on July 30 perceived to be not "disciplined or sporting and adversely affected the game of rugby".

Following an investigation, both counts were upheld by the independent misconduct committee, who also fined the union £20,000, issued a warning over future conduct and ordered an apology to be made to each of the relevant match officials.

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