Springbok captain Siya Kolisi wants the Rassie Erasmus debacle resolved

Rassie Erasmus is currently serving his two match World Rugby ban. Photo: Matt Impey/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Rassie Erasmus is currently serving his two match World Rugby ban. Photo: Matt Impey/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Nov 26, 2022


Durban - On the eve of the Springboks’ season curtain call against England at Twickenham, Siya Kolisi said it is vital that the Rassie Erasmus saga has a positive spin-off for the game of rugby.

Erasmus will watch the game from his hotel room after being banned from attending this match and last week’s in Italy because of his comments about referees, and it is widely believed that after this match, World Rugby and SA Rugby are going to take the big stick to the recalcitrant Erasmus.

“We are learning and hopefully something is reached where both parties are happy going forward and it gets resolved,” Kolisi said of World Rugby and their referees and Erasmus. “It is good for rugby to have that kind of stuff resolved. We are all part of the rugby family and families do fight, and don’t see eye to eye at times, and the most important thing is we can all invest in rugby and resolve it together and be stronger than it was before.

“We can all use difficult periods and adversity for good and hopefully something great comes out of this and there is a solution between coaches and directors. I hope something more positive comes out of it because it is not good for rugby in general.”

On Tuesday, coach Jacques Nienaber was asked if the Erasmus saga was a debilitating sideshow but he answered that “We are a tight-knit family,” a suggestion that the Boks had adopted a siege mentality.

But Kolisi said this was not the case.

“We don’t think the world is against us. We are not the only team that has faced these challenges… it is just different. Our slogan is ‘let the main thing stay the main thing’ and the main thing is rugby. Everything else that happens is a sideshow, no one is more important than the team. People expect us to beat England and we can’t be making excuses. If we did, we wouldn’t be welcome home.”

Kolisi was in a conversational mood at his press conference and had a light-hearted comment about the powerful bench Eddie Jones has selected in answer to the Boks’ famed bomb squad.

“People had a problem with the bomb squad and now everyone’s doing it,” Kolisi smiled. “It’s funny how the world works. It works, that’s the thing. I just laugh. People had a lot to say when we did it and now it’s becoming fashionable. Everyone’s doing it.”