‘What do I do?’ England star accuses Springbok of racial attack during World Cup semi-final

England’s Tom Curry accused South African opponent Bongi Mbonambi of a racial attack during the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup semi-final win, it has been revealed.

The alleged incident took place half-an-hour into South Africa’s thrilling 16-15 win over the English at the Stade de France.

With England leading 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 could be heard asking on the ref’s microphone.

O’Keeffe replied: “Nothing please.”

He is then heard to say “I will be on it” but it’s unclear whether this is in reference to the allegation or something else, given he does not take any action against Mbonambi.

The alleged slur itself could not be heard, only Curry’s recollection of it.

England’s openside flanker Tom Curry (R) runs with the ball during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-final match between England and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 21, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)Source: AFP

Mbonambi refused to shake Curry’s hand after the match, and when the Englishman was asked if Mbonambi had said something he shouldn’t have, replied “yeah”.

But he did not confirm the details and added “it does not need to be talked about”.

The 36-hour citing window from the final whistle meant World Rugby were unable to comment on the allegation, with England able to make a complaint during that period.

South Africa forwards coach Deon Davids was asked about the incident on Sunday and said: “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.”

South Africa’s hooker Bongi Mbonambi (L) and England’s fly-half and captain Owen Farrell (C) speak with New Zealander referee Ben O’Keeffe (R) during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-final match between England and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 21, 2023. (Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)Source: AFP

Mbonambi is the only specialist hooker in South Africa’s squad and losing him to a suspension would be a major blow heading into the World Cup final against New Zealand.

Source website: www.foxsports.com.au

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