5 of the biggest scandals in rugby history following Rassie Erasmus ban - Ruck

5 of the biggest scandals in rugby history following Rassie Erasmus ban

South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned from all rugby for two months and from involvement with the Boks on matchdays for a year.

The 49-year-old has been punished for an hour-long video criticising the refereeing in July’s first-Test defeat by the British and Irish Lions.

World Rugby found the video contained “multiple abusive and insulting comments and attacks on the officials”.

However, this isn’t the first scandal to hit rugby down the years.


It was a military-style “boot camp” organized as a “team building” exercise for the South African national rugby union team, the Springboks (or Boks), during their preparation for the 2003 Rugby World Cup (RWC). Details of the camp emerged in the South African media, resulting in protest from the upper administrative levels of South African rugby.

  • The team was ordered to climb into a foxhole naked and sing the national anthem while ice-cold water were being poured over their heads. During their time in the hole, recordings of God Save the Queen (used as England‘s national anthem) and the New Zealand All Blacks haka were played at full volume.
  • It was confirmed that firearms were present at the camp, although reports varied as to whether they were ever pointed at anyone.
  • The players were forced to crawl naked across gravel.
  • They also were ordered to spend a night in the bush, during which they were to kill and cook chickens, but not eat them.


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