The documentary film series – titled ‘Two sides to every story’ will be aired on 15 May, and will cover the incredible on-field and behind-the-scenes story from the 2021 B&I Lions three Tests against the Boks.
The series was famously won 2-1 by the Springboks, but it was also filled with controversy, which ranged from a massive Covid-19 outbreak that threatened the entire tour, to the infamous Rassie Erasmus refereeing video that came to light.
You can see the Boks-Lions documentary preview below:
Erasmus was able to resume most Springbok job-related activities from mid-January after serving the first part of his ban handed down by World Rugby in relation to the video criticising officials after the first Test, but he will only be able to be involved on the Boks’ match-days from October onwards.
The widely-circulated video led to one of the biggest controversies the game has seen, while in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Erasmus recently revealed what a toll it took on him and his family.
“I want people to know that I’m not this monster that I’ve been portrayed as,” he said in an interview with highly-regarded England-based writer Nik Simon.
“Did you know my sister lives in Reading? She’s a social worker for the NHS. Fully invested in the English life. She loves the Royal Family, sings God Save the Queen and would stand outside clapping for the old guy, Sir Tom, who walked up and down his garden 100 times during the lockdown.
“After what happened during the Lions tour, it felt like her family in the UK were the only people outside of South Africa who didn’t hate me. How do you think that makes you feel? It feels awful, man….
“Listen, I have never been a suit-and-tie guy who claims to be a saint. I have never said I will be a life coach. I have never had slogans like ‘better people make better rugby players’. I have never said I’m the world’s greatest father. Yeah, I’ve always been a bit naughty and enjoyed a giggle but I’ve always been an honest guy.
“People think I leaked that video. I didn’t. Who leaks something like that? Why would I screw up my whole career to do that? I’ve got twin girls, 18 years old, who are at school and they hear other parents telling them how their dad had f***** it all up.
“My mum is at an old-age home and they’re showing her articles saying, ‘Rassie’s lost it, he’s got depression, he’s drunk’. They think those things because they are indoctrinated that I leaked that video. I want to tell the world that, swearing on my youngest child’s life, I did not leak that video.
“Many people have already made up their mind. How do you change people’s perception when World Rugby have found me guilty and banned me for 12 months? I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I just want them to know what really happened.”
Prior to the second Test between the Boks and the Lions, after the video had become public, Erasmus also reveals that he isolated himself away from the rest of the team.
“Before that second Test I was crying in my room. I cried out of fear. I was afraid. If we had lost the second Test can you imagine the s*** I would have got from my own people?
“I would have been the guy who messed it up. I would have been finished. It was the scariest night of my career. The most intense week of my life. I was too nervous to get on the bus with the players. I drove in a separate car.”
In the interview, Erasmus also explains how the video was sent and insists he was not responsible for the leak.
“I looked at the viewing history and eight of the first 35 views were in Australia. How? Why on earth would I leak it to guys in Australia? It comes out and suddenly I look like the villain. It just doesn’t make sense.
“Listen, the mistake I made was not putting a password on the link. I didn’t think it was necessary. I compounded that by not warning that it was confidential. So I accept and agree with World Rugby’s finding that a public leak was almost inevitable.
“I have to live with that and I unconditionally accept their verdict and the sanction imposed. I won’t challenge or criticise that in any way. But I repeat to you, I am not the person who leaked that video.”