NIK SIMON’S GAIN LINE: Erasmus putting trousers back on and England call on former captains

NIK SIMON’S GAIN LINE: Rassie Erasmus to return to South Africa fold for European tour while England call on ex-skippers for autumn pep talk

  • Rassie Erasmus is set to travel for the Springboks’ upcoming European tour
  • Former England captains invited to give pep talk during winter internationals 
  • BBC up investment in men’s rugby by signing three-year deal with Barbarians  

Pantomime villain Rassie Erasmus is set to come out of hiding for the Springboks’ upcoming European tour – despite his imminent disciplinary hearing.

Erasmus stayed at home in South Africa for the recent Rugby Championship tour, with video footage emerging of the director of rugby watching games in his pants.

Erasmus faces a disciplinary hearing at the end of the month for his hour-long, scathing critique of referee Nic Berry’s after the first Lions Test.  

Rassie Erasmus is awaiting a disciplinary hearing but he is set to travel for the European tour

With South Africa set to travel to a camp in France over the coming days, Erasmus is set to face the trial on tour and could find himself facing touchline bans or worse for the Tests against Wales, Scotland and England.

Erasmus’ lawyers have asked for the hearing to be made public and they are likely to state in the defence that the director of rugby was not responsible for leaking the video. 

The globetrotting All Blacks will kick off their tour with an outing to watch Washington take on the Kansas City Chiefs at FedExField. 

Washington’s leading wide receiver, Terry McLaurin, was a school mate of USA Eagles captain Bryce Campbell. 

Former skippers to give England a lift 

Former England captains Dylan Hartley and Chris Robshaw have been invited by Eddie Jones to give a pep talk during the autumn internationals.

England are set to return to Pennyhill Park for the first time since March 2020, when their Six Nations was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Chris Robshaw is one of two former England captains invited to give a pep talk this autumn

Chris Robshaw is one of two former England captains invited to give a pep talk this autumn

Jones has asked the former skippers, who share 163 caps, to spend time with his squad ahead of the second and third Tests against Australia and South Africa.

England have stayed at The Lensbury for their most recent campaigns, but it will now be used as a base for touring teams.


Wales are set to poach a member of England’s communications team to fill the void left by Luke Broadley’s departure. 

Due to lengthy notice periods, however, Wayne Pivac’s side will go into the autumn series with a makeshift media team.

It showed when Wednesday’s squad appeared on social media 20 minutes after the announcement was made.   


The BBC have finally upped their investment in men’s rugby by signing a three-year deal with the Barbarians. 

The broadcaster, who have a limited rugby presence outside the Six Nations, have agreed to show the BaaBaas’ annual autumn fixture at Twickenham. Following their recent investment into the women’s autumn internationals, they are set to add next month’s game against Samoa to the BBC2 roster. 


Eagle-eyed stamp collectors will have noticed that the Royal Mail’s marketing department are not delivering the goods. The group recently launched a series of rugby stamps, including a £49.99 framed print of Jonny Wilkinson in the 2003 World Cup final. 

It is advertised as the No 10’s ‘dramatic World Cup final conversion’ but he missed his only conversion attempt.