The Rassie Erasmus saga has come to a close as SA Rugby and the Director of Rugby and former World Cup winning coach have apologised and withdrawn their appeal.
Both parties were punished for their part in their criticism of the match officials after the first Test of the Springboks’ series against the British & Irish Lions.
Erasmus was suspended from all rugby activities for 2 months and banned from matchday activities for a year, while SA Rugby were fined and both parties had to give an apology.
They intended to appeal the decision, but have today backed off and instead apologised to the match officials involved.
A SA Rugby statement said:
“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.”
Thanks to those who supported the @springboks during a real tough 2021 season (for all teams involved) Also on a personal level thanks for the support !! ( Strongs MJ 🇿🇦)
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 22, 2021
South Africa won two of their three end of year tour matches, but were narrowly defeated by England at Twickenham just days after the verdict was delivered. Erasmus opted to respect it, and appeared to be enjoying a holiday in Mauritius.
Sad not to be with the boys !!Captain’s Practice time now !! I do however get the feeling the 2 months will not be so bad as feared !!🇲🇺🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/ft7K2VgrUa
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 19, 2021
World Rugby have today accepted the apology and stated that the matter is closed.
“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.”
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Erasmus will no doubt continue to share his feelings on social media, today tweeting a message to Dave Rennie – the Wallabies coach who was very outspoken following their loss to Wales – and Andy Marinos, current Rugby Australia CEO, in XiTsonga, while downing a shot of alcohol.
It says: “Coach Rennie, this one is very cold and it’s awaiting for you.”
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 25, 2021
You can interpret that as you wish, but it appears that he’s suggesting Rennie may well be suffering the same fate soon.