SA Rugby: Etzebeth remains part of Springbok squad

Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)

Cape Town - SA Rugby has confirmed that lock Eben Etzebeth remains part of the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad despite allegations he was involved in unsavoury altercations in Langebaan over the weekend. 

Etzebeth and a group of family and friends were involved in two separate alleged incidents in the West Coast town late on Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning.

In the first incident, the owner of a local watering hole - Die Watergat - confirmed to Sport24 on Monday that a patron was removed from the bar around midnight following a scuffle with the Etzebeth party.

That patron in question has laid a charge with local police which is currently being investigated.

Hours later another incident occurred in the street outside the club, with accusations on social media suggesting Etzebeth had engaged in abusive and racial behaviour. 

It prompted Etzebeth to defend himself on social media, denying any such wrongdoing, but it was confirmed that another charge related to this incident has been filed.

SA Rugby moved swiftly on Monday to confirm they had consulted with the 78-Test veteran and following his version of events, the 27-year-old remains part of the squad. 

"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," the statement read.

"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."

The Springboks will announce their 31-man Rugby World Cup squad for the tournament in Japan on Monday at 15:00.

Compiled by: Garrin Lambley

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