Springboks

Rassie happy Kolisi issue was handled swiftly

Rassie Erasmus (Getty)
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has lauded World Rugby for the manner in which the governing body handled the Siya Kolisi “headbutting” incident.

“It’s a relief that he can play (against Wales). He is our captain and I have to give credit to World Rugby. We would have accepted whatever decision made,” Erasmus told reporters in Cardiff on Monday, as quoted by Netwerk24.

World Rugby on Monday handed the Springbok captain a citing commissioner warning for striking a Scotland player with his head in last Saturday's Test in Edinburgh.

Kolisi made headlines after South Africa's 26-20 win when footage surfaced of an apparent headbutt on Scotland centre Peter Horne.

At the half-hour mark, Kolisi, while held on the ground by Horne, used the back of his head to strike his opponent.

The governing body said that mitigating factors were behind the decision not to cite Kolisi, including Horne “illegally preventing Kolisi re-joining play” and the “moderate force of the strike to the head”.

“It helps us that the matter was resolved as early as Monday. Sometimes these processes get dragged out until the Wednesday. We’re relieved that we can pick more or less the same team,” Erasmus added.

When probed whether he felt the Kolisi’s punishment was fair, Erasmus responded: “Like with all other incidents in rugby, it’s irrelevant what my view is. I’m glad the guy involved (Horne) is unscathed and that Siya is available.

“I can’t comment on it as I may say the wrong things and get in trouble. I’d like to keep my focus on Saturday’s Test (against Wales). You may not agree with it, but as long as there is an open communication system and everyone knows why and how a decision is made, then you can accept it and live with it.”

World Rugby added that the warning will sit on Kolisi’s disciplinary record.

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