Former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has denounced Rassie Erasmus and insinuated that the SA Rugby director of rugby’s attack on referees is hypocritical.
World Rugby imposed a two-match ban on Rassie, after he posted a series of tweets seemingly highlighting inconsistent refereeing decisions by Englishman Wayne Barnes in the highly-charged encounter between the Springboks and France in Marseille.
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It was Eramsus’ second suspension for the same indiscretion in less than a year, after he was banned last November for making and releasing a video in which he pointed out every mistake Australian referee Nic Berry made during the Springboks’ first Test against the British and Irish Lions.
The issue has since taken an unexpected twist, with Erasmus and World Rugby having made peace, and the Bok boss even potentially assisting the governing body in addressing the standards of officiating.
That didn’t stop De Villiers from denouncing Erasmus’ behaviour during his appearance The Rugby Pod podcast with hosts Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton.
De Villiers said he disagrees with the Erasmus approach because that is not what the game of rugby is about. He also hinted that it was hypocritical of Erasmus to point out refereeing decisions that went against South Africa but not those that went against opposing teams.
“My take on this whole thing is: Why didn’t he put out the bad things that the Springboks were allowed to do? Then to me, it (would have been) a just call – because then he wants to show how bad the referee is on (all) his judgement calls,” De Villiers said.
“But whenever we lose, to go and sit there and show what he (the referee) missed here and what he missed there… he (Erasmus) had the time to replay and replay and replay, and then made the videos. This is not what our game is all about.
“Our game is to punch the guy here, and the strength to run over somebody and competing. But it’s become so soft nowadays, and with this little thing, I don’t think that we want to be exposed so much of our weaknesses in being part of the game.”
Watch De Villiers discuss the matter below:
Victor Matfield and John Smit became the first high-profile figures in South African rugby to speak out against Erasmus’ crusade against referees and World Rugby’s officiating standards.
Bulls director of rugby and former World Cup-winning Springboks coach Jake White then also came forward to denounce Erasmus’ behaviour.
ALSO READ: Thank you World Rugby, let’s move on
Peter de Villiers and Rassie Erasmus. Image: Gallo Images.