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Rassie Erasmus handed two-month ban for his behaviour towards match officials during Lions series

Independent committee upheld six charges of misconduct against Rassie Erasmus; he has been suspended from all match-day activities until September 30, 2022; Erasmus will be absent when the Springboks play England at Twickenham on Saturday

South Africa's coach Rassie Erasmus on the field during the first Test between Springboks and the British and Irish Lions at the Cape Town Stadium

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned from all rugby activity for two months, due to his behaviour towards the match officials during the series against the British and Irish Lions last summer.

An independent committee has upheld six charges of misconduct which were brought by World Rugby against Erasmus.

Erasmus is also suspended from all match-day activities, including coaching and media engagement, until September 30, 2022.

It means the man who led South Africa to World Cup success in 2019 - beating England in the final - will be able to play no part when South Africa face England again at Twickenham on Saturday.

British and Irish Lions' Conor Murray, left, with teammates Stuart Hogg (15), and Owen Farrell celebrate after defeating South Africa in the first rugby union test between South Africa's Springboks and the British and Irish Lions at the Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, July 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Halden Krog)
Image: The British and Irish Lions won the first Test in South Africa but ended up losing the series 2-1

Erasmus and SA Rugby, who also faced two charges, have confirmed in a statement that they will appeal the decisions.

South Africa came from 1-0 down to beat the Lions 2-1 in the summer.

Erasmus used social media to highlight refereeing inconsistencies, starting with the Lions' defeat to South Africa 'A', and after the first Test he appeared in an hour-long video, critiquing the performance of the officials.

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The charges upheld by an independent misconduct committee included attacking, disparaging and/or denigrating the game and match officials, and not accepting the authority of match officials.

The first charge said that Erasmus threatened a match official that, unless a requested meeting took place, he would publish footage containing clips criticising the match official's performance, and then made good on that threat.

Erasmus has also been given warning as to his future conduct and must apologise to the relevant match officials.

rassie erasmus
Image: Rassie Erasmus will appeal the verdict of the judicial committee

SA Rugby was charged with allowing Erasmus to commit acts of misconduct and for permitting captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick to make comments at a press conference on July 30 that were not "disciplined or sporting and adversely affected the game of rugby".

Both counts were upheld by the independent misconduct committee, who fined the union £20,000, issued a warning over future conduct and ordered an apology be made to the relevant match officials.

A joint statement read: "SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus have noted the decision of World Rugby's judicial committee.

"Both parties confirmed they will exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts.

"Neither party will make any further comment until the process is complete."

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