Siya Kolisi has called for a resolution to Rassie Erasmus’ stand off with World Rugby as South Africa’s director of rugby prepares to miss another clash with England at Twickenham.
Erasmus completes a two-game ban on matchday involvement incurred for publishing a series of critical tweets about officials, some of which resulted in English referee Wayne Barnes being targeted with online abuse.
The suspension was imposed a month after Erasmus completed a year-long ban for publishing a video critiquing the performance of Australian referee Nic Berry during the 2021 Lions tour.
Former Springboks captain John Smit declared earlier this week that Erasmus’ conduct had made the national team “so easy to dislike” and Kolisi admits it would be better for the game if the friction can be addressed.
“We are learning and hopefully something is reached where both parties are happy going forward and it gets resolved,” South Africa skipper Kolisi said.
“It’s good for rugby to have that kind of stuff resolved. We are all part of the rugby family and families do fight and don’t see eye to eye at times.
“The most important thing is we can all invest in rugby and resolve it together and be stronger than it was before.
“We can all use difficult periods and adversity for good sometimes and hopefully something great comes out of this and there is a solution going forward between coaches and administrators.
“I hope something more positive comes out of it because it is not good for rugby in general.
“We don’t think the world is against us. We are not the only team that has faced these challenges, every every single team has done, it’s just different.
“Our slogan is let the main thing stay the main thing and the main thing is rugby. Everything else that happens is a sideshow, no one is more important than the team.”
Kolisi, meanwhile, is flattered that England have copied the ‘Bomb Squad’ strategy that South Africa first used at the 2019 World Cup whereby forward dominance is retained through the use of high quality reinforcements off the bench in the second half.
“People had a problem with the Bomb Squad and now everyone’s doing it. It’s funny how the world works,” Kolisi said.
“I just laugh. People had a lot to say when we did it and now it’s becoming fashion. It works, that’s the thing. It works.
“It will work for a team like England because they play similarly to how we play with the kicking game and everything.
“You have to work as a forward at all times, back and forth with the kicking. It’s tough on the big guys so bringing on new guys with new energy who are as good helps.
“That’s the important thing about the Bomb Squad – the bench should be as good as the guys that start.”