'Let's park 2019 and talk 2023': Rassie Erasmus' New Year message to Springbok fans

03 January 2022 - 11:05
By Unathi Nkanjeni
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix/ File photo SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

“Let's forget 2019 and focus 100% on 2023. We appreciate all your opinions, negative or positive. Let's park 2019 and talk 2023.”

So said SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus in his New Year's message to Springbok fans online.

Erasmus said it was time to “park 2019 and talk 2023” as the national team plans to defend the title they won in Japan.

Erasmus said giving advice doesn't mean he knows more, but that he's done “more stupid s**t”.

“If you don’t understand someone’s culture, what they see as respect and know what the tone in their voice, their body language and so on means. Don’t judge them yet.”

Erasmus, who was head coach at the 2019 tournament, was suspended by World Rugby for 60 days last year.

He was banned from all rugby-related activities for two months after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty on six charges of misconduct. He put together a 62-minute video that hit out at Australian referee Nic Berry and TMO Marius Jonker’s officiating during the Springboks’ first Test loss to the British & Irish Lions in July.

Erasmus' ban means he will not be allowed to attend live rugby matches until September.

Over the festive season he shared that he was “living every day as a Friday”.