SA Rugby: Eben Etzebeth still part of Springbok squad
The South African Rugby Union is satisfied with the explanation given by star lock Eben Etzebeth following an incident in Langebaan on Saturday night.
Etzebeth took to Facebook on Sunday to deny allegations on social media that he had physically or racially abused members of the public after an apparent confrontation at a pub in the West Coast town.
Sport24 reported that Etzebeth was accompanied by his brother Ryen, cousin Emile and a number of other family and friends at Die Watergat pub on Saturday night, and that a scuffle had broken out with another group of people.
That was reportedly followed by another incident later in a Langebaan street, where a man was injured.
SA Rugby released a statement on Monday, in which they said that they had spoken to Etzebeth ahead of the Springbok World Cup squad announcement at 3pm.
“The South African Rugby Union is a law-abiding member of South African society and has no tolerance of acts of violence or racial abuse.
“We will co-operate with the authorities in any way necessary. Our Rugby World Cup squad will have no place for anyone who transgresses those principles.
“But we also trust our people to act responsibly and tell the truth. We have spoken to Eben, and he categorically denies any physical or racial abuse on his part, as has been alleged in social media.
“He is a member of the Springbok squad and will remain so, unless police authorities require our reconsideration.”
Etzebeth said 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.”
The Stormers and Western Province stalwart, who will join French club Toulon after the World Cup, is expected to be among the 31 names that will be announced by Bok coach Rassie Erasmus later on Monday.@ashfakmohamed