Rugby must do MORE to protect referees and end bullying, insists Gregor Townsend, who welcomes the decision to hand South Africa’s boss Rassie Erasmus a two-month ban for his tirade against officials.
- Lions coach Gregor Townsend insists more must be done to protect umpires
- It comes after World Rugby imposed a two-month suspension on Rassie Erasmus
- He had attacked umpiring displays during the Lions’ tour in a YouTube clip.
- Townsend insists it was a ‘really bad episode’ for rugby and more needs to be done
Lions coach Gregor Townsend has welcomed the conviction against Rassie Erasmus and believes that rugby must now do more to end bullying.
Townsend was Warren Gatland’s assistant during the summer tour of South Africa, when Erasmus recorded a scathing hour-long critique of referee Nic Berry.
Now back in his role with Scotland, Townsend wants to see an offensive against coaches playing the role of waterboy Erasmus-style.
Lions coach Gregor Townsend insists more must be done to protect umpires after South Africa boss Rassie Erasmus criticized umpiring displays during the Lions’ tour in a YouTube clip.
“That was a really bad episode for our game,” Townsend said.
“ Since then I spoke with Nic Berry about it and he went through a very difficult time and so did his family.
“We cannot fall into the trap of winning at all costs and putting pressure on people.
“We reached the decision that was announced, but for me this is the tip of the iceberg.
The Springboks boss had six misconduct charges against him after he hit umpires during the Lions’ road trip this summer.
Erasmus also used Twitter to criticize the Lions for their ‘reckless and dangerous’ play.
“We have seen many incidents where people on the sidelines are trying to intimidate players and officials. It has to stop.
‘I urge World Rugby to make more changes. Why do we need coaches on the sidelines?
“If they are on the sidelines, they have to live up to certain behaviors and values that make us proud of our game, which I unfortunately felt over the summer and have since been lost.”