Cape Town – SA director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby’s misconduct hearing will take place on the weekend of 30-31 October, World Rugby confirmed on Thursday.
After a drawn-out saga, the panel will be chaired by Independent Judicial Panel Chairman Christopher Quinlan QC, Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) and Judge Mike Mika (New Zealand).
Erasmus and SA Rugby were formally charged by the world governing body after an hour-long video of him criticising match officials went viral.
In the video, Erasmus went through 26 clips, highlighting a string of refereeing inconsistencies against the Springboks from the first Test of the Series against the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium.
The video shows Erasmus addressing the Springboks being disrespected by the match officials and not receiving the same treatment as the Lions’ leadership. He also goes into match referee Nic Berry’s refusal to listen to and shed some light on the areas they needed clarity on, despite initially being open to discussing these issues with the Boks.
World Rugby afterwards said that Erasmus had brought the game into disrepute, this despite Lions chief Warren Gatland’s comments regarding the neutrality of South African Marius Jonker – who was appointed television match official for the Series – in the build-up to the opening Test.
The statement read: “Following the provision of detailed written submissions and evidence from Mr Erasmus, SA Rugby and World Rugby, a request was received from SA Rugby and Mr Erasmus for an oral hearing, which has been granted.
“The hearing date, set in consultation with the parties, is the earliest possible date taking into account previous commitments of all parties, participants and the multiple time zones involved.
“The independent disciplinary committee will publish a full written decision following the completion of the entire proceedings.”
If found guilty, Erasmus’ punishment could reportedly see the Springboks stripped of their Lions Series title or the World Cup-winning coach copping a fine.