Cape Town - Springbok wing Makazole Mapimpi has explained why he wasn't part of a post-Test celebration huddle after the team's 49-3 thrashing of Italy on Friday.
A video went viral on social media following the Test at the Shizuoka Stadium showing certain Springbok players gathering to celebrate - while Mapimpi, who initially looks to join the group, walks away.
Some on social media suggested Mapimpi was excluded for racial reasons, while others flagged Frans Steyn's apparent waving away of Mapimpi as possibly insensitive.
However, Mapimpi, speaking in an Instragram post, said he'd seen the video - and emphatically set the record straight.
‘We have players who we call the “bomb squad”, who generally come off the bench in the second half or whatever time in the game. They have their own calls and their own spirit as the bomb squad.
‘Basically what happens after each game is that we shake hands with the opposition. As we were completing the handshakes, the bomb squad was coming together to do their call or chant.
‘As I was walking towards them I realised that they were about to do their call, and that I wasn’t part of it, so I decided that I needed to move away.
‘I wasn’t part of it, but there was nothing wrong there with what they were doing - we are united as a team.’
The six players in the huddle were indeed all substitutes in the Test: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw and Steyn.
Mapimpi scored his 11th try in as many Tests for the Springboks in the match as he looks to cement his spot in the left-wing jersey.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn
15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Michele Campagnaro, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Braam Steyn, 5 Dean Budd, 4 David Sisi, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Substitutes: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Sebastian Negri, 22 Callum Braley, 23 Carlo Canna
This is Heart Breaking pic.twitter.com/7HNhuNHUWp— Themba Rumbu (@ThembaRumbu) October 4, 2019