Simon King Rassie Erasmus: Ban ends on 30 September.
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Rassie Erasmus set for Springboks return as ban comes to an end
South Africa’s director of rugby will be back with the team for the November test against Ireland.

FORMER SPRINGBOK COACH Rassie Erasmus is likely to be back with the team on their end-of-year northern hemisphere tour which includes a test against Ireland in November as a lengthy ban from attending matches comes to an end.

Erasmus, now South Africa’s director of rugby, has been unable to be with his long-time lieutenant Jacques Nienaber, the current coach, since being handed a ban by World Rugby in November last year.

The ban ends on 30 September.

World Rugby found Erasmus guilty on six charges relating to criticism of Australian referee Nic Berry after the first Test against the British and Irish Lions in July 2021, which included the release of an hour-long video in which he analysed what he claimed were numerous mistakes by Berry.

The ban prohibited Erasmus from entering venues or having any direct or indirect contact with coaching staff or players on match days.

The last Springbok match in which the ban applied was a scrappy 38-21 win against Argentina in Durban on Saturday.

The Springboks finished second behind New Zealand in the Rugby Championship after failing to secure a minimum 39-point winning margin which would have taken them ahead of the All Blacks.

South Africa will open the tour with a match against Ireland, currently the number one team in the world, at the Aviva Stadium on 5 November. They will meet second-ranked France in Marseilles on 12 November and have matches against Italy and England over the following two weekends.

The Ireland contest will take place on Erasmus’ 50th birthday and his lawyer Frikkie Erasmus told Rapport newspaper that being back at matches would be a “relief” to his namesake client.

“He and Jacques have a unique working relationship. Rassie’s absence put a lot of pressure on Jacques. Rassie has a fundamental impact on the mood and motivation of the players,” said Frikkie Erasmus.

Nienaber, meanwhile, said the Springboks had gone out on Saturday with the intention of overtaking the All Blacks and had been on course when they led 17-0 before conceding a try shortly before half-time.

The coach said that although the Springboks fell short in the championship they had built depth in their squad as they worked towards defending the World Cup in France next year.

“We are in a better position now in terms of learning about certain positions than we were when we started,” said Nienaber.

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