‘You are a f**king liar!’ – Rassie Erasmus’ foul-mouthed half-time Rugby World Cup speech that inspired the Springboks

Jared Wright
Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus and screenshots of his speech during the Rugby World Cup semi-final against England.

Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus and screenshots of his speech during the Rugby World Cup semi-final against England.

The long-awaited first episode of Chasing the Sun 2, the documentary series that chronicles the Springboks’ journey in the lead-up to and during the 2023 Rugby World Cup, finally hit the screens this past weekend.

The immensely popular Chasing the Sun series captured the Boks’ triumph during the 2019 World Cup, and the opening episode of the sequel looks to be a rollercoaster of emotions for the players and coaches.

Rassie’s rant

In the episode, viewers were given a peek into the Springboks‘ dressing room during their Rugby World Cup semi-final clash with England.

After navigating a tough pool stage, where they were drawn with Scotland, Ireland, Romania, and Tonga, the Springboks collided with France in the quarter-final of the tournament.

Eben Etzebeth would score a try in their first play-off match, helping the Boks secure a narrow 29-28 victory over the tournament hosts and set up a semi-final date with 2019 finalists England in the final four.

The Springboks headed into the semi-final dubbed as clear favourites, but England came into the fixture well prepared and looked to have rattled the far more fancied South Africans as they held a 12-6 lead at half-time thanks to the boot of Owen Farrell.

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Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby’s director of rugby at the time, was seething as he entered the dressing room with his side down at the break and let his players know it in a speech that clear struck a cord.

“You gave the f***ing penalty away,” Erasmus is seen screaming on the episode.

“And you promised you won’t. You promised you were going to scrum them. You promised to you were going play like it’s your last f***ing game as a group together.

“But you lied. You’re a f***ing liar!”

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Did the trick

Erasmus’ speech had the desired impact as South Africa looked far more determined in the second half, and despite going even further behind when Farrell landed a drop goal in the 53rd minute, they would go on to win the clash and seal their place in back-to-back finals.

The impact of the bench once again came to the fore with RG Snyman scoring a try in the 69th minute, which Handre Pollard converted before the fly-half landed a clutch penalty in the 77th minute to win the match.

READ MORE: Nigel Owens in agreement with South Africans as ex-referee bemoans World Rugby’s scrum proposal