Bok door not closed for returning Dyantyi, says Erasmus

Bok door not closed for returning Dyantyi, says Erasmus

South Africa's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus says everyone deserves a second chance in life, which is why he would not rule out Aphiwe Dyantyi from being selected for the Springboks again.

Dyantyi has just signed for the Sharks as he eyes a return to rugby after a four-year absence.

The former Springbok and Lions star was one of the most promising backline players in South African rugby when he was hit with a four-year doping suspension for testing positive for three substances in 2019.

The positive test came not long after being named World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year after a stellar 2018 season with the Boks.

But all that changed with his positive doping test, which robbed him of the opportunity to represent the Springboks at that year's Rugby World Cup in Japan and has seen him stuck on the sidelines ever since.

Asked about Dyantyi's return, Erasmus stressed that the winger's story was a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of taking a banned substance, considering the heavy price he had to pay.

"If you look at the penalty he paid - four years - it's not worth doing something like that," Erasmus said at Wednesday's Springbok media conference in Pretoria.

"Again, I'm not judging him as a person, I'm saying it's a lot. It would be nonsensical for a player to try in this day and age where you can't get away with something like that.

"We get tested every day, in camp here there's four to five players test every day in the last two years; there's not a day that goes by where players don't get tested. I don't think you need something like that to make it at the highest level," he said.

At the same time, however, now that he has paid the price, Erasmus believes the former Bok deserves a second chance, and said he would be happy to select him for the Springboks again if his performances warranted it.

"I believe in second chances. There was a ban decided by the panel, he served his ban for four years. I hope he comes back with a bang and does well at the Sharks and we can pick him one day for the Springboks.

"There are a lot of people who don't feel the same way about that but I feel that's why there was a time bearing to the ban. We believe in second chances, hopefully, he does well and we can look at him," Erasmus said.