Rassie video was 'disrespectful' says Jones
SPOTLIGHT: England head coach Eddie Jones believes Rassie Erasmus sent the wrong message to youngsters with his 62-minute video rant in July.
South Africa’s Director of Rugby is facing a World Rugby disciplinary hearing over the video that was spread on social media in the aftermath of the first Test against the British & Irish Lions.
In the video, Erasmus criticised referee Nic Berry and his officials. South Africa lost that first Test 17-22 before winning the next two matches to win the series 2-1.
In an interview with BBC Radio Five Live, Jones said Erasmus has become a bad example for future generations in the game and he believes there should have been disciplinary action already.
“It should be dealt with quickly,” said Jones.
“We need to make sure that we have respect in the game because we are asking kids to be respectful to the referee, and if they see examples of players or coaches being disrespectful to the referee it gives them an excuse to do it at their level.”
Jones, who himself has been in trouble in the past for criticising referees, agrees that there are some problems with the way the game is officiated at the moment. However, he said there is a “respectful” way of addressing it with officials.
“I think the game is in a good place, but we have to be careful and I think there are some issues in the game we need to look at very carefully and I think one of them is the diligence of the referees to referee the important part of the game well,” he said.
“Rassie made his famous video and I don’t think that is correct, but we need to make sure the referees work as a three a lot harder than they do at the moment to ensure that particularly at the breakdown we get what we need to get, which is a fair contest between contest and continuity.
“But there is an appropriate way to do it, and that is being respectful to the referee.”
Meanwhile, the Springboks and British and Irish Lions received plenty of criticism for their style of play in the series. The Tests were mostly stop-start affairs with defence and brute force taking centre stage.
However, Jones believes it is not all gloom and doom for rugby fans.
“I thought it was a great contest, but it was all about the contest and there was no continuity in the game,” Jones added.
“If there were crowds we might have remembered them as good contests, but because it was in front of no crowds it lacked a bit of emotion.
“We shouldn’t get too despondent that we think the game is in the wrong direction. The game will bounce back. The one thing we know about rugby is that it is resilient.”