England’s Tom Curry accused South African opponent Bongi Mbonambi of a racial assault through the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup semi-final win, it has been revealed.
The alleged incident happened half-an-hour into South Africa’s thrilling 16-15 win over the English on the Stade de France.
With England main 9-3, Curry approached referee Ben O’Keeffe to make the allegation.
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“Sir, Sir, if their hooker calls me a white c***, what do I do?” Curry may very well be heard asking on the ref’s microphone.
O’Keeffe replied: “Nothing please.”
He is then heard to say “I will be on it” however it’s unclear whether or not that is in reference to the allegation or one thing else, given he doesn’t take any motion in opposition to Mbonambi.
The alleged slur itself couldn’t be heard, solely Curry’s recollection of it.
Mbonambi refused to shake Curry’s hand after the match, and when the Englishman was requested if Mbonambi had mentioned one thing he shouldn’t have, replied “yeah”.
But he didn’t affirm the main points and added “it does not need to be talked about”.
The 36-hour citing window from the ultimate whistle meant World Rugby have been unable to touch upon the allegation, with England in a position to make a criticism throughout that interval.
South Africa forwards coach Deon Davids was requested concerning the incident on Sunday and mentioned: “I’m not aware of that, I’m not aware of any comment, if it was discussed.
“I’m not sure what the comment was or when it was said. I don’t know.”
Mbonambi is the one specialist hooker in South Africa’s squad and shedding him to a suspension could be a serious blow heading into the World Cup closing in opposition to New Zealand.