Matfield calls on SA Rugby to take stance on Rassie: 'It's not looking good in the world'

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Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
  • Former Springbok captain Victor Matfield says SA Rugby should take a firm stance in the matter involving director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.
  • Erasmus has been slapped with a two-game ban by World Rugby after highlighting refereeing errors on social media.
  • Matfield believes rugby should be dominating the headlines and believes World Rugby's decision to ban Erasmus was warranted.

In Sun City

Former Springbok captain Victor Matfield says SA Rugby should take a stance: either against or in support of Rassie Erasmus after he received a fresh ban from World Rugby.

Erasmus, SA Rugby's director of rugby, received a two-match ban last week after highlighting questionable refereeing in the Springboks' losses against Ireland and France.

The 2019 World Cup-winning Springbok coach had come off a two-month ban earlier this year but took to Twitter to question the refereeing and officiating inconsistencies in Dublin and Marseille.

Matfield, who took part in the inaugural Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational at Lost City Golf Course in Sun City, believes Erasmus' two-match ban is not the best look for South African rugby at present.

"I think so, we're in a position where he is our director of rugby and he is the face of SA Rugby. He has been tapped on the fingers twice from the IRB (World Rugby) and SA Rugby is saying nothing," Matfield told News24 at the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational in Sun City.

"Either SA Rugby must stand with him and say that they'll back him 100 percent or someone from SA Rugby needs to talk to [him] and make him stop what he is doing.

"SA Rugby has to decide what they need to do, but it's not looking good in the world for SA Rugby and it doesn't help with the referees, we'll probably get worse decisions every week."

READ | Local rugby coaches fed up with Rassie's ref tirades - report

SA Rugby and the Springboks have made headlines these past few months, from Erasmus' Twitter exploits to Elton Jantjies' infidelity, as well as Jurie Roux's lengthy legal battle with Stellenbosch University.

Matfield insists rugby should be the sole focus for SA Rugby as the Springboks look to defend their World Cup title in France next year.

"My thoughts are that it should always be about rugby. Yes, we want to see our Springbok players in the masses, but they need to perform. As long as they perform on the field, we can't say anything and I think that's something we need to focus on," said Matfield.

"Normally, you need a good culture off the field to help mirror it on the field. But that's something they need to prioritise and focus on."

The Springboks face England in their final year-end Test at Twickenham on Saturday (19:30 SA time).

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