Rassie's ban will be 'motivation' for Boks
SPOTLIGHT: Rassie Erasmus’ absence will be a big motivator for Springboks when they face England at Twickenham, says Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick.
South Africa’s Director of Rugby was found guilty of misconduct earlier this week for his 62-minute video critique of matches officials after the first Test against the British and Irish Lions.
He was suspended with immediate effect from all rugby activities for two months. However, he has exercised his right to appeal the verdict.
“Rassie is a very special guy to us,” said Stick. “We know how much he cares about us and his spirit will always be there.
“The guy really cares about Springbok rugby and the Springbok family, which includes everyone back at home.
“Yes, we are going to miss him, but one thing I can guarantee for sure, his spirit will always be there.
“We love him and we got a lot of respect for him.
“For us, it will be more motivation to play even better because we know what the gentleman has done for us.
“We really care and we will play for him for sure.”
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Sad not to be with the boys !!Captain’s Practice time now !! I do however get the feeling the 2 months will not be so bad as feared !!🇲🇺🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/ft7K2VgrUa
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 19, 2021
‘We will miss him’
Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi said the team will miss Erasmus’ presence on touchlines.
“It will be tough. His presence makes a huge difference for us,” said Kolisi.
“As a group, we know his insight in rugby and there is stuff that he sees that we don’t see on the field because he is someone who has played rugby at this level.
“He motivates us and talks to us on the side of the field.
“When the subs are made and you get taken off early, all you think about is what you did wrong and he is always there to come and chat to us and let you know why you went off at this time.
“That makes a huge difference because he knows how we are – we are very competitive people. We always want to give our best and we want to play for the full 80 minutes.
“I’ve been taken off early a lot of times and he will tell me straight, ‘we thought you were tired’ or ‘we needed someone to be more at the breakdown’.
“That makes a huge difference and we will miss him. However, the coaching staff have plans on how we can work around that as a group.”