Rassie Erasmus. Picture: REUTERS
Rassie Erasmus. Picture: REUTERS

In a dramatic about turn late in the day SA Rugby has withdrawn its appeal against sanctions handed down by World Rugby last week.

World Rugby banned SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus from the sport for two months and from team activities including coaching, contact with match officials and engagements with media until the end of  September 2022.

The ban came as a result of Erasmus’ hour-long video after the first Test against the British & Irish Lions in which he at length criticised the match officials’ decisions. Naturally, the video went viral.

SA Rugby were handed a £20,000 (about R400,000) fine for failing to ensure Erasmus complied with World Rugby’s code of conduct.

In a statement issued at the close of business on Thursday SA Rugby said: “SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks’ Series against the British & Irish Lions.

“We also confirm that 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.”

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