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Rassie Erasmus set for miscond...
Rugby

Rassie Erasmus set for misconduct hearing after criticism of officials

South Africa's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus is set to face an independent misconduct hearing.

Erasmus released an hour-long video last week, in which he was critical of the performance of match officials in the first test against the British and Irish Lions.

South Africa Rugby will also be subject to the hearing, which was confirmed by World Rugby on Monday.

The Lions series is finely poised at one win apiece, ahead of the decider this Saturday.

There has been much scrutiny of the match officials throughout the course of the tour.

World Rugby said that they condemn 'any public criticism' of match officials.

"Match officials are the backbone of the sport, and without them there is no game," the statement reads.

"World Rugby condemns any public criticism of their selection, performance or integrity which undermines their role, the well-established and trust-based coach-officials feedback process, and more importantly, the values that are at the heart of the sport.

"Having conducted a full review of all the available information, World Rugby is concerned that individuals from both teams have commented on the selection and/or performance of match officials.

"However, the extensive and direct nature of the comments made by Rassie Erasmus within a video address, in particular, meets the threshold to be considered a breach of World Rugby Regulation 18 (Misconduct and Code of Conduct) and will now be considered by an independent disciplinary panel.

"The date and panel will be confirmed in due course.

"World Rugby has reminded the management of both teams of the importance of this area and their obligations regarding the values of the sport.

"In order to protect the integrity of the sport and its values, World Rugby will also undertake a review of its Code of Conduct relating to incidents of this nature with a view to strengthening scope, rules and sanctions."

"As with any test series, South Africa versus the British and Irish Lions is a showcase of rugby that generates great excitement and interest, even more so at this challenging time for sport and society.

"It is an opportunity for both teams and their management to set a positive example and concentrate on the spectacle and a wonderful example of rugby and its values at their best."

South Africa Rugby said they 'noted the charges' and would respond through the appropriate channels.

Saturday's final test kicks off at 5pm and will be live on Newstalk.

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