Rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus is under threat of facing further action from World Rugby. Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Reuters.

Rassie: Thank you World Rugby, let’s move on!

Rassie Erasmus has made peace with World Rugby and suggested it’s time to move on after a ‘constructive’ meeting this week.

Rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus is under threat of facing further action from World Rugby. Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Reuters.

Earlier this week, World Rugby reiterated the importance of communication going forward after stating that Rassie Erasmus had “crossed a line”.

It came after World Rugby dramatically issued Erasmus with a ban on all match-day activities for two matches as a result of recent social media posts, which were deemed to be critical of officials.

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In a statement released on Saturday, though, it was stated that World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, and World Rugby Director of Rugby, Phil Davies, met with Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general. 

“Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions,” the statement read. “There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players. Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.”

Erasmus then took to Twitter to suggest that the matter was now closed.

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World Rugby chief executive officer Alan Gilpin recently sought to further clear the air even though he admitted Erasmus “doesn’t agree” with his punishment. 

“What is important is we are able to move forward in a dialogue with them (SA Rugby),” Gilpin told the BBC. “Let’s have a discussion about why certain behaviours are appropriate or inappropriate. If coaches or other people involved in South African rugby or anywhere else don’t think the protocols are working, let’s talk about that.

“This is about every referee who is, on a Sunday morning, refereeing kids’ rugby anywhere in the world, having permission to do the job properly, and not having every parent on the touchline posting videos on social media,” Gilpin said.

“That’s the really important thing in terms of the integrity of the game. The referees will be the first to tell you they welcome feedback. They are really up for those discussions with coaches.

“We have to make sure we protect them in that sense, but our view, and he may not agree, is that he has crossed the line. For us, it is really important we reinforce where those lines are, for everybody to see.”

Several SA coaches and union bosses apparently told Rapport that Erasmus’ behaviour is selfish, and that his ban is tarnishing SA rugby’s image and is sure to have a negative affect on other SA teams playing abroad.

In handing down Erasmus’ suspension, the world governing body reiterated a stance that ”condemns any public criticism of match official selection, performance or integrity, which undermines their role, the trust-based coach/match officials feedback process and the values of integrity, respect, solidarity and discipline”.

The ban also prevents Erasmus from any “engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials”.

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Rassie has sought to downplay his Twitter antics

In reaction to the widespread backlash from these posts, Erasmus appeared at a press conference last week, where he sought to set the record straight by explaining that he was simply looking to keep the broader South African rugby public well informed.

It’s believed he could host a chat this week to share some more of his views.

rassie erasmus springboks