Rassie Erasmus will face a disciplinary hearing for his video critique of the referee’s performance after the first British and Irish Lions test at the end of the month.
South Africa director of rugby Erasmus is facing a possible suspension from coaching/administration in the sport, after he was deemed to have breached World Rugby’s regulations on code of conduct.
The World Cup-winning coach criticised the officiating performance from the first test in a video that was released to the public, arguing that the amount of respect that was shown to his players was “comical”.
World Rugby have announced that Erasmus’s hearing will take place on the weekend of the 30th – 31st of October, which they have said is the earliest possible date that hearing could have taken place on due to the commitments of those involved.
World Rugby’s statement on the hearing.
“Independent Judicial Panel Chairman Christopher Quinlan QC has confirmed that the Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby misconduct hearing will take place over the weekend of 30-31 October,” the statement reads.
“Quinlan will chair the panel alongside Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) and Judge Mike Mika (New Zealand).
“Following the provision of detailed written submissions and evidence from Mr Erasmus, SA Rugby and World Rugby, a request was received from SA Rugby and Mr Erasmus for an oral hearing, which has been granted.
“The hearing date, set in consultation with the parties, is the earliest possible date taking into account previous commitments of all parties, participants and the multiple time zones involved.
“The independent disciplinary committee will publish a full written decision following the completion of the entire proceedings.”
— World Rugby Media (@worldrugbymedia) October 7, 2021
Rassie Erasmus’ lawyer has claimed that his client did not release the video.
Rassie Erasmus’ lawyer Frikkie Erasmus has previously claimed that his client did not leak the video, which could prove to be a crucial point in the case.
Coaches are allowed to ask questions of the officials after games, and may do so in the form of a video, but they are not allowed to make any complaints in public.
If Erasmus can prove that he did not release the video to the public, he may get off with a warning, rather than a suspension or worse for the comments made in the video.
However, Erasmus did say in the video that he was willing to withdraw from the Springboks’ management team if administrators decided that it was “going over the top” and “shouldn’t go out to the media”.