SA Rugby and SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday sensationally withdrew their notices of appeal against the misconduct decision and sanction issued by a World Rugby independent misconduct committee.
In a statement, SA Rugby sought to move on from the incident that has led to two suspensions for Rassie Erasmus in relation to his 62-minute video that led to disciplinary action after he criticised the officials involved in the first British & Irish Lions Test.
“SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks’ Series against the British & Irish Lions,” the statement read.
“We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their Notice of Appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Committee.
“This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.
“We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months.”
Meanwhile, World Rugby responded with the following:
“World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed.”
Reminder of ban handed down to Rassie Erasmus
In an 80-page document, the entire case against Erasmus was unpacked, while the South African director of rugby was also instructed to “issue a full public apology to the first BIL Test match officials” within “14 days of the date of this decision”.
As part of the judgement after World Rugby issued a charge of misconduct, Erasmus was suspended with immediate effect from all rugby activities for two months.
In addition, he was suspended from all match-day activities (including coaching, contact with match officials, and media engagement) with immediate effect until 30 September 2022.