Why Rassie decided not to appeal World Rugby ban

Family “tension” is one of several reasons SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus decided not to appeal the sanctions handed down by World Rugby’s disciplinary committee.

According to Rapport newspaper, a well-placed informant has said that the decision to abandon the appeal was made in order to “bury the case for good”.

Erasmus compiled a video in which he pointed out and broke down 26 errors made by Australian referee Nic Berry in the first Test between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions.

The director of rugby and his employers were cited in October for bringing the game into disrepute and World Rugby levelled six charges against Erasmus for various breaches of regulation 18 and the code of conduct.

Three days before the Springboks faced England at Twickenham, World Rugby announced that Erasmus had been handed a two-month ban from all rugby and a six-month suspension from match-day activities. Shortly after the ban was handed down, SA Rugby and Erasmus announced their intention to appeal the decision.

However, in a short statement this week, SA Rugby confirmed that it had withdrawn the appeal, a decision reportedly made easier by the fact that SA Rugby and Erasmus were not required to personally apologise to Berry.

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There is also a view that the appeal against the two-month ban from all rugby activities would be pointless as the 2021 Test calendar is complete and SA Rugby will soon close its offices for the holidays.

Next year, Erasmus will be allowed to travel with the Springboks and get involved with their preparation for Test matches, but won’t be with the team during match days.

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Dylan Jack