IRB to rule on Tonderai fine

2004-06-02 21:29

Cape Town - The South African Rugby Football Union (Sarfu) is anxiously awaiting the verdict of the International Rugby Board after the union appealed against the stiff penalty it was dealt last week.

Sarfu was fined roughly R1.2m and the Springbok Sevens side was punished by a deduction of 32 league points because Tonderai Chavhanga was used in two matches last year while he was not eligible to play.

Chavhanga, who starred for the Stormers in this year's Super 12 series, is a Zimbabwean citizen who will only qualify for South African citizenship next year.

Because he played for the South African Under-21 team last year, the South African authorities mistakenly were under the impression that he was automatically eligible for the national Sevens side.

Christo Ferreira, Sarfu's manager of policy and regulations, and advocate Jannie Lubbe asked the special Appeal Committee of the IRB in a submission lasting more than 90 minutes to review the stiff fine.

The committee of three members, Graham Mew (chairman), Lorne Crerar (Scotland) and Brian McLoughlin (Ireland) is expected to deliver judgement on Thursday.

Ferreira said he and Lubbe asked that the sentence (fine and league points) be suspended in totality, or alternatively that at least the fine be suspended.

For the first time ever

If they were to be credited again with the 32 league points the Bok Sevens still have an outside chance of winning the IRB Grand Prix series for the first time ever.

With only one tournament to be played, however, New Zealand are likely to hold on to their crown.

In a separate development the Sharks scrumhalf Craig Davidson has to appear before a Sarfu disciplinary committee after controversial remarks he made about Springbok coach Jake White.

The fiery scrumhalf was very unhappy about being left out of the Bok team and indicated a personal vendetta between him and the coach was responsible for it.

Davidson maintains that he and White had a disagreement when the coach was an assistant coach with the Sharks.

In his tirade which was published in Natal newspapers Davidson said that it was 'a sad day for South African rugby when White was appointed as Bok coach". He added that it was a slap in the face for ex-Boks such as Francois Pienaar and Rob Louw.

With reference to White he added that a leopard cannot change its spots.

Initially Davidson's hearing was to have taken place this week, but his attorney, Roy Wolfson, has asked for a postponement.

According to Ferreira the hearing will probably be scheduled for Wednesday. The official charge is likely to be that Davidson has transgressed Sarfu's code of behaviour.

The case against Corné Krige (ex-captain of the Springboks and the Stormers) who also stands accused of having broken the code with certain remarks he made, will be finalised within the next two weeks, Ferreira added.