Springboks

Etzebeth: Police say I'm in the clear

2019-08-27 09:07
Eben Etzebeth
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth says police assured him he will not be implicated in an assault case following an altercation outside a popular Langebaan watering hole over the weekend.

The burly lock was included in South Africa's Rugby World Cup squad on Monday and told Netwerk24 that he had spoken to police regarding the incident.

"They said everything is fine. Now I can just focus on the World Cup," Etzebeth said.

On Sunday, Etzebeth also took to social media to defend himself.

"It is completely untrue and unfounded to claim that I physically or racially abused anyone in Langebaan as has been reported on social media. Multiple witnesses can corroborate that," Etzebeth posted on Facebook.

"I am and will always strive to be a true ambassador to this beautiful rainbow nation and the sport that I love."

After announcing his World Cup squad at the SuperSport studios in Randburg, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus dismissed the Etzebeth reports as just "a rumour" at this stage. 

"I was definitely worried about it when I heard about it, of course," the Bok mentor said.

"If there was any truth in it, it would have been a massive issue for us.

"After speaking to Eben and hearing his side of the story, there is obviously trust between a coach and a player.

"I must trust him to do some stuff on the field for me and win Test matches for us, and he must trust me to believe him when he tells me something.

"I'm pretty comfortable with what he's told me and obviously you can't just believe what someone else says on social media.

"I'm confident that that's not the truth what was said on social media and if anything like that happens and it is the truth, then somebody like that would not be part of our team and would not go to the World Cup.

"Until something like that gets proven, it's just a rumour in my opinion."

SA Rugby also released a statement on Monday in which the governing body confirmed it would cooperate with authorities in the investigation into the incident, but said that Etzebeth would remain a part of the national plans until instructed otherwise by the authorities.

Springboks' 31-man Rugby World Cup squad:

Forwards (17)

Schalk Brits (Bulls), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (captain, Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath, England), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)

Backs (14)

Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), S'bu Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)

Compiled by: Herman Mostert

 

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