Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Erasmus breaks silence on Lions tour, Kolisi — and THAT video

Among other things, Erasmus has revealed how it was a 'struggle' to get people to back Kolisi as captain.


South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has opened up about several issues that have impacted his life following last year’s tour to South Africa of the British and Irish Lions.

In a “tell-all” interview with the Daily Mail, Erasmus speaks about several matters during the tour, including the famous video of him criticising referee Nic Berry after the first Test and the subsequent fallout, how the video affected his family life, and how he hasn’t spoken to Lions coach Warren Gatland since.

Erasmus also reveals how he received criticism for appointing Siya Kolisi as captain of the Springboks.

“Making Siya captain … there was a lot of nastiness. My daughters’ friends’ parents would say ‘Tell that f****** father of yours to stop sucking up for a pay cheque.

“The fight to get people to believe in Siya was a real struggle.”

Erasmus appointed Kolisi as Bok captain in 2018 – the first black captain of the Boks – when he became coach of the national side.

Regarding the video of an hour in which Erasmus points out several refereeing mistakes made by Berry, which cost the Bok rugby boss a ban from World Rugby, Erasmus says: “I’ve always been a bit naughty and enjoyed a giggle, but I’ve always been an honest guy. I didn’t leak that video.”

He adds: “I’ve never been a suit and tie guy who claims to be a saint. I never said I’d be a life coach.”

Also: “I’m a sensitive guy. People think I’m a bully. I’m not.”

Erasmus also reveals his sister lives in England in Reading and works for the NHS, and was probably his only supporter outside of South Africa during the Lions tour, he tells of the “water carrier” issues he had to deal with during the Lions tour and how “sad” it is that he and Lions boss Warren Gatland still haven’t spoken since their visit to South Africa.

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