Fri 30 Jul 2021 | 11:47

Rugby Australia slams Rassie's rant

Rugby Australia slams Rassie's rant
Fri 30 Jul 2021 | 11:47
Rugby Australia slams Rassie's rant
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rugby Australia has condemned the commentary from South African Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus surrounding the performance of Nic Berry.

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South Africa’s Director of Rugby, Erasmus, stirred up a hornet’s nest with a spectacular 26-clip, hour-long video – which surfaced on Thursday, two days after it was initially filmed on Tuesday – in which he strongly criticised the refereeing in last Saturday’s first Test against the B&I Lions.

In the video Erasmus – who also acts as the Bok team’s water boy – highlights a litany of errors by Australian referee Berry and his fellow match officials in the opening match of the three-Test series, lost 17-22 to by the Springboks.

This has led to a swift response from RA, who labelled his actions ‘unacceptable’ in a statement on Friday.

“Rugby Australia has noted with dismay and concern the recent public commentary by South African Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, regarding Australian referee Nic Berry and other match officials,” the statement read.

“There is no place for abuse of match officials in Australian Rugby, with Rugby Australia committed to promoting a fair, safe and inclusive Rugby experience for all participants, officials and fans.”

RA CEO Andy Marinos confirmed they have taken the issue up with World Rugby as they continue to show support for Berry.

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“Match officials form the very fabric of our game – simply, the game would not exist without them. As a highly regarded and respected international referee appointed by World Rugby, the attack on Nic’s integrity, character and reputation is unacceptable,” Marinos said.

“We have been in contact with World Rugby, under whose auspices this Test Series sit, and understand that they are actively reviewing this matter as some facts presented were not accurate.

“It is important to ensure public attacks of this nature are not tolerated. We will continue to provide support to Nic at this time, as both his physical and mental wellbeing remains a priority for us.”

World Rugby released a statement on Thursday announcing they would look into the disturbing comments by Erasmus, who has found himself in hot water throughout the series for his strange role as a water boy.

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“World Rugby notes the comments made by Rassie Erasmus. The nature of these will be raised with the union via the usual official channels and no further comment will be made at this stage,” they added.

Source: @RugbyAU

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