Siya Kolisi has called for a solution to World Rugby’s Rassi Erasmus as the South Africa rugby director prepares to miss another clash with England at Twickenham.
Erasmus completes a two-match match ban imposed after a series of critical tweets about officials, some of which made English referee Wayne Barnes the target of online abuse.
The suspension was imposed a month after Erasmus ended a year-long ban on posting a video criticizing Australian referee Nic Berry’s performance on the Lions 2021 tour.
Former Springboks captain John Smit stated earlier this week that Erasmus’ behavior made the national team “easy to dislike”, and Kolisi admits it would be better for the game if friction could be addressed.
“We are learning and hope that something has been achieved that both sides are happy with and will be resolved,” South African captain Kolisi said.
“It’s good that rugby has solved these problems. We are all part of the rugby family and families sometimes fight and disagree.
“The most important thing is that we can all invest in rugby and solve this problem together and be stronger than before.
“We can all use difficult times and adversity for good sometimes and hopefully something great will come out of it and coaches and administrators will find a solution.
“I hope something more positive comes out of this because it’s not good for rugby in general.
“We don’t think the world is against us. We’re not the only band that’s faced these challenges, every band has done it, it’s just different.
“Our slogan is that the most important remains the most important and the most important is rugby. Everything else that happens is a side event, no one is more important than the band.
Kolisi, meanwhile, is flattered that England copied the ‘Bomb Squad’ strategy South Africa first deployed at the 2019 World Cup, in which the forwards’ dominance was preserved through the use of high-quality reinforcements from the bench in the second half.
“People had a problem with the bomb squad, and now they’re all doing it. It’s funny how the world works,” Kolisi said.
“I just laugh. People had a lot of say when we were doing it, and now it’s becoming a fad. It works, that’s the point. It works.
“It will work for a team like England because they play similar to how we play kicks and everything else.
“You have to work as a striker all the time, back and forth with kicks. It’s hard for the big guys, so bringing in new guys with new energy who are just as good helps.
“That’s what’s important at Bomb Squad – the bench should be as good as the guys who start it.”