Cape Town - This past weekend’s on-field ‘scuffle’ between
Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager will not impact negatively on their working
relationship at the national team, Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan
Things got heated between the duo in last Saturday’s Super
Rugby clash between the Stormers and Cheetahs at Newlands.
Kiwi referee Glen Jackson had to stop proceedings and give
both players a stern lecture after they had wrestled each other to the ground.
After Jackson had warned them, there was no conciliatory
handshake between the two and it made many fans wonder whether there was any
love lost between the two lock giants.
However, when probed on the matter at a Springbok training
session in Stellenbosch on Tuesday, Van Graan assured that the issue has been
put to bed.
“Lood and Eben are big mates,” said Van Graan. “I think the
great thing about rugby is that despite everything that happens between the
four lines on a Saturday, afterwards it’s wonderful for coaches and players to
have a beer together and to be able to laugh about it.
“These things happen in the heat of the moment. Rugby is a
collision sport. There’s already been a few jokes made about it this week, but
we’ve put it behind us.
“Once you get to the Boks you forget about the franchises,
you pull this green jersey over your head and you focus on the Boks.”