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Shane Horgan Slates "Embarrassing" Rassie Erasmus Antics

Shane Horgan Slates "Embarrassing" Rassie Erasmus Antics
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Rassie Erasmus was once again in the headlines this week, after he publicly questioned the officials from Saturday's Ireland win over Erasmus' South Africa side.

Erasmus yet again took to Twitter to slate the performance of match officials - something that earned him a ban from World Rugby last year.

Speaking to the Second Captains podcast this week, former Ireland player Shane Horgan laid into Rassie's antics, calling them "embarrassing" and suggesting that they were not the actions of a coach of his stature.

Rassie Erasmus: Shane Horgan slams South African coach's attitude

Rassie Erasmus, despite leaving his job as head coach of South Africa in 2019, has remained in the role of Director of Rugby, playing a pivotal role in the fortunes of the Springboks.

His time as head coach took in the 2019 World Cup win, earning him the respect of the rugby world, but it is his off field antics that have drawn headlines in recent years.


Despite the fact South Africa themselves were lucky to escape a red card during Saturday's loss in the Aviva Stadium, Erasmus took to Twitter to not-so-subtly point out perceived errors by Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli and his officiating team.

Rassie Erasmus

5 November 2022; South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus before the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

On the Second Captains podcast this week, Ireland legend Shane Horgan spoke about Rassie Erasmus' antics in the aftermath of Saturday's game. He said that, despite the respect Erasmus had rightly earned from the world of rugby, his actions were disappointing, especially after he was disciplined for similar remarks last year.

He called Erasmus' response "embarrassing", and lamented the South African coach's behaviour with a sarcastic jab at the perceived "agenda" against the Springboks:


The global conspiracy against the Springboks continues! World Rugby have their minions at work again influencing the referees around the world to stop South Africa achieving the success that they might otherwise have.

Can you imagine what they would have achieved beyond the World Cup victory and the Lions tour victory if everybody wasn't against them?

We, as a rugby community, we have to understand that that level of imperfection is part of what rugby is. I really can't stand Rassie doing this and I've kind of lost...it's so petulant for him.

He's this man of incredible stature, incredible charisma, he's one of the leading lights in world rugby, he's had an outstanding career, he's winner of the World Cup, you've turned it around for South Africa...I don't think this shows him in a particularly good light at all.

I do know why he does it - because it works. It worked against the Lions. There was a marked change in the way the referees refereed the last two tests, they were intimidated.

He has probably learned from what went on but the fact that he received a ban hasn't made any impact. It's that faux "well done", tweeting of "close calls, look at these, oh I'm just throwing it out there". It's embarrassing. Will you have the dignity that your office holds in World Rugby?

This is not the route to go down but it seems he's unwilling not to. This is his modus operandi now. It's not going to change.

As mentioned by Shane Horgan, Erasmus does have previous with this kind of behaviour. Just last year, his social media ranting and raving after the first test of the Lions tour of South Africa earned him a lengthy ban from World Rugby - but not before he unsettled the atmosphere surrounding what had previously been a tour conducted in a sporting manner.


Rassie Erasmus' antics are not unexpected, and they are unlikely to cease any time soon - but they are disappointing, and have deflected attention away from what was a gripping game of rugby on Saturday evening, and a famous win for Ireland.

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Stuart Hogg

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