The SA Rugby Union said that Eben Etzebeth will remain part of the Bok squad, unless told otherwise by authorities. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has said that he can concentrate fully on preparations for the Rugby World Cup, despite a controversial incident in Langebaan at the weekend.

Various people on social media have alleged that Etzebeth was part of a fracas in the West Coast town on Saturday night, which led to a man being injured and requiring treatment in hospital.

Etzebeth, his brother Ryen and other family and friends had visited Die Watergat pub in Langebaan on Saturday night, and the owner told Sport24 that a scuffle between members of Etzebeth’s group and others had been sorted out in his venue.

But the matter then reportedly reignited outside the pub later in the night, with Etzebeth himself being accused of physical and racial abuse.

The 28-year-old giant has denied the allegations, stating on Facebook: “It is completely untrue and unfounded to claim that I physically or racially abused anyone in Langebaan, as has been reported on social media. Multiple witnesses can corroborate that.

“I am and will always strive to be a true ambassador to this beautiful rainbow nation and the sport that I love.”

After the Springbok World Cup squad was announced on Monday, Etzebeth told Netwerk24 that he had addressed the matter with the police.

“They said everything is fine. Now I can just focus on the World Cup,” the 2.04m second-rower said.

The SA Rugby Union also sent out a statement on Monday, adding that they accepted Etzebeth’s version of what had happened in Langebaan, and that he will remain part of the Bok squad, unless told otherwise by authorities.

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus told the media at the squad announcement: “I’m pretty comfortable with what he has told me. You can’t just believe what someone else says on social media.

“I’m comfortable that it’s not the truth, and if anything like that was the truth, then they would not be part of our team and would not go to the World Cup.”

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