'National assets going through tough times': Nkosi, Jantjies struggles spotlight Bok pressures

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  • Although dealing with different situations, Springboks Sbu Nkosi and Elton Jantjies have both needed help dealing with their respective off-field battles.
  • However, the Bulls and SA Rugby have yet to have conversations about how to assist Nkosi.
  • Nkosi was located at his father’s house in Emalahleni following a three-week search.

Though their situations might be different, Sbu Nkosi and Elton Jantjies have become two of the most prominent 2019 World Cup-winning Springboks to suffer off-field problems in the national and international rugby spotlight.

Jantjies, who was in the middle of a spate of headline-grabbing scandalous moments dating back to an incident on an Emirates flight earlier this year, booked himself into a drug rehabilitation centre in an attempt to get his career back on track.

That came after a hugely public Mbombela incident regarding an unpaid restaurant bill during an out-of-team-hotel party Jantjies reportedly hosted, from which rumours of an extramarital affair with Springbok team dietician Zeenat Simjee emerged.

READ | Springbok star Sbu Nkosi's father opens up: 'This is my child, not a rugby player'

Jantjies and Simjee denied the allegations.

Some months later, another Springbok, who was part of the history-making team that brought back the Webb Ellis trophy from Japan three years ago, Nkosi, took national attention when he went "missing" for three weeks.

After the Bulls located their star winger, Nkosi revealed he was battling mental health problems. His franchise pledged help.

But it appears that the Bulls and SA Rugby aren’t in sync over how to handle the Nkosi situation, as conversations between the two hadn’t taken place by the time Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone’s Tuesday press conference.

"There hasn't been [a conversation regarding Sbu Nkosi]," said Rathbone.

"Our concern, though is not the rugby player, as we previously said, it's the person. But those conversations will happen with (Springbok team manager) Charles Wessels, Rassie and Jacques (Nienaber) to see where they can assist and what the plans are going forward.

"We need to review what we’re doing and possibly ramp it up. It’s national assets going through tough times.

"We need to find support structures for them that will make a real difference at the end of the day."

Attempts to get SA Rugby’s and the Springbok’s views on the Nkosi matter failed.

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