Cape Town - A former South African police commander has claimed that the All Blacks were poisoned before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.
Rory Steyn, who was chief bodyguard to former President Nelson Mandela, has suggested that betting syndicates sought to poison the All Blacks in order to make huge money from an upset, with New Zealand the favourites heading into the match.
Steyn revealed that the All Blacks squad ate apart from the rest of their hotel guests in the days before the match, such was their level of concern.
"On the Thursday before the final, which was on Saturday, they were poisoned. About two-thirds of the squad got very sick, properly sick," Steyn told the New Zealand Herald.
"I believe it was the water that was got at, because the food that was served at lunch time... was chicken burgers and hamburgers.
"I don't think it was the food, I think it was the coffee and the tea and possibly even the drinking water.
"I know what I saw… A team of guys lying on the floor, very, very ill."
South Africa won the game 15-12 thanks to Joel Stransky's late drop goal, sparking memorable scenes at Ellis Park as the Springboks celebrated a first Rugby World Cup triumph, with the trophy famously presented to skipper Francois Pienaar by Mandela.