04 Oct 2022

Rassie Erasmus to face misconduct hearing over criticism of match officials

Munster Rugby's former director of rugby to face misconduct hearing

Former Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus

FORMER Munster Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is to face a misconduct hearing after criticising officials following South Africa's first Test defeat to the British and Irish Lions.

South Africa's director of rugby Erasmus will face an independent misconduct hearing after his video criticising the officiating in last Saturday week's first Test.

Erasmus strongly criticised the officials handling of the match won by the Lions in a 62-minute video message, in particular about the performance of referee Nic Berry.

World Rugby said the "extensive and direct nature" of Erasmus' hour-long video monologue is a potential breach of the Code of Conduct.

South Africa Rugby has also been summoned to the misconduct hearing, World Rugby said in a statement.

In a statement, World Rugby said: "Match officials are the backbone of the sport, and without them, there is no game," the governing body said in a statement.

"World Rugby condemns any public criticism of their selection, performance or integrity which undermines their role, the well-established and trust-based coach-officials feedback process, and more importantly, the values that are at the heart of the sport."

That first test ended in a 22-17 victory for the Lions. 

In the video posted on Vimeo, Erasmus said: "Let the Springboks and the Lions have an equal chance on the field when it comes to laws, respect, the way players are treated, what is said in the coaches' pre-match meeting with the referees, how they give feedback post-match and how things are said in the media.

"It's comical the respect the [officials] showed towards the South African players compared to the Lions players."

South Africa drew level in the series with a convincing 27-9 win in the second Test in Cape Town last weekend.

The series decider takes place in Cape Town this Saturday at 5pm Irish time. Both sides will release their starting line-ups later today, Tuesday.

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