The saga surrounding the Rassie Erasmus video, in which he criticised match officials during the Lions series, has taken a twist after his lawyer said he was not responsible for posting the video on social media.
In an interview with Netwerk24, Erasmus’ lawyer, Frikkie Erasmus, told the website that the SA Rugby director of rugby sent the video exclusively to World Rugby and referee Nic Berry, who took charge of the first Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions.
During the 62-minute-long video, Rassie Erasmus highlighted a host of officiating discrepancies in detail, including instances where he feels officials showed the South Africans a lack of respect.
The video went viral on social media last Wednesday and it was widely believed that Erasmus himself knowingly uploaded it to Twitter to put pressure on the match officials ahead of the second Test, which the Springboks won 27-9.
“I can categorically state that Rassie did not leak the video,” Frikkie Erasmus told the website.
“The media has since reported it as fact that Rassie did it. The truth is that he went through the official channels.”
World Rugby on Monday issued a statement confirming that both Erasmus and SA Rugby will face an independent misconduct hearing as Erasmus’ comments were considered in breach of Regulation 18 (Misconduct and Code of Conduct).
Lions head coach Warren Gatland and Rugby Australia have both criticised the former Springbok coach following the leak.
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