Rugby World Cup probe launched as Tom Curry accuses Bongi Mbonambi of racial slur during England's loss to South Africa | The Sun
WORLD rugby chiefs are launching a formal investigation into racism claims made during England's semi-final defeat to South Africa.
The Red Rose were narrowly beaten 16-15 by the current champions in Paris on Saturday night.
During the game, Tom Curry accused opponent Bongi Mbonambi of calling him a “white c**t”.
The Sale Sharks star made the allegations directly to referee Ben O'Keefe.
Curry went up to the official and said: "Sir, Sir, if their hooker calls me a white c**t what can I do?"
O'Keeffe responded: "Nothing please. I’ll be on it."
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The conversation was picked up by the "ref link" microphone.
Both players did not shake hands at the end of the game as a brawl erupted.
Curry was asked if the Springbok had "said something he shouldn’t have" with the England man responding: "Yeah."
Probed on whether he would say what he had heard, he added: "No."
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But it has emerged that a potential defence could be that Curry misunderstood a comment made by Mbonambi in Afrikaans.
He could have used the term “wit kant” – meaning “white side” in Afrikaans – to tell team-mates that the ball was on the English side of the ruck.
Rules state that the RFU had a 24-hour window to refer the incident to the match commissioner.
World Rugby chiefs are now under pressure to ban Mbonambi from the final against New Zealand on Saturday night.
In a statement, SA Rugby said: “We are aware of the allegation, which we take very seriously and are reviewing the available evidence.
“We will engage with Bongi if anything is found to substantiate the claim.”
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