Durban – The eyes of the rugby world will be on the leadership of SA Rugby this week as they will surely end their deafening silence on the Rassie Erasmus saga, but which way will they fall — for or against the controversial Director of Rugby?
Erasmus was last week banned by World Rugby World Rugby for two Tests for his recent social media video posts on Twitter about several incidents in the Ireland and France Test matches, both of which the Springboks lost.
Erasmus served a one-year suspension after a leaked video emerged of him talking about refereeing errors in the first Test between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions.
He had resumed his duties in the coaching box during the Springboks’ match against Ireland, before sending some cryptic, yet controversial posts, which featured videos of perceived refereeing double standards.
It then reached a crescendo after decisions by England referee Wayne Barnes went against the Boks in the dying minutes of their defeat to France in Marseille, where Erasmus also ‘highlighted’ certain decisions.
That resulted in England’s RFU angrily writing to SA Rugby president Mark Alexander to demand they discipline their recalcitrant director, and the two-week ban from World Rugby ensued, so what now is SA Rugby going to do?
Newspaper reports suggest that World Rugby is merely warming up and is ready to wield the big stick should SA Rugby not reign in their cowboy.
But what if the Bok players themselves see Rassie as a rallying point, a warrior who goes into battle for them, taking on an establishment that seems to frown on them?
Or is that perception in fact because Rassie keeps prodding the world body with a sharp stick?
Alexander and CEO Jurie Roux need to box clever in this massive week of the Boks’ 2022 curtain call against bitter rivals England, at Twickenham in London, the home of rugby.
They have to say something early this week, even if it is to say they will deal with the matter after the season ends on Saturday because right now the rugby world regards South African rugby as a growing embarrassment.