Cobus Reinach was the subject of a social media troll after last weekend’s victory, according to South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.
Playmaker started at scrum-half as the Springboks defeated the hosts to advance to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, where they will play England on Saturday.
In order for them to win by a slim margin of 29-28, Reinach was essential in setting up the first two tries.
After selecting an unchanged lineup to face the Red Rose in the last-four, the coaches gave him the start for the Boks once more this weekend.
Before informing his followers that Reinach had received death threats, Erasmus used X, formerly known as Twitter, to clarify that a quotation that had been ascribed to him was untrue.
The 33-year-old, who is a member of Montpellier of the Top 14, got a message that said: “Dirty son of a b**** I hope that when you return to Montpellier you get murdered by French people on the ground gang of thieves, easy to win a title when you’re cheating.”
Responding to that, Erasmus wrote: “Unfortunately these threats was made to Cobus Reinach!! Its not nice and upsets a mom and dad to see things like that said about their boy! But we are not gonna whine, we will just move on!!!”
The French supporter appeared to target Reinach’s youngster in another post that he wrote to the scrum-half, which horrified people on social media.
“Sorry about that, but the vast majority of French fans and people in general do NOT agree with this. French journalist Thomas Corbet wrote on X, “And by not ok, I mean horrible, humiliating, and just disgusting.
Rian Oberholzer, the temporary chief executive of South Africa Rugby, indicated that they are seeking to pursue it further and denounced the fan’s activity.
Oberholzer told News24, “We were informed of it (the death threat) on Thursday afternoon and it is something we’re going to take up.
“It is regrettable that remarks like those are being made. We at SA Rugby can’t really do much about French fans calling for player executions.
Although it is terrible when it occurs, there isn’t much we can do about it physically.
A troubling pattern
These kinds of problems, sadly, are popping up more and more frequently in the social media age.
Referee Wayne Barnes and his family were the targets of hateful threats from South African supporters in November of last year after the Springboks were defeated by France.
“Criticism on social media quickly becomes abuse,” Barnes told The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast. “That is the world we live in. That is social media. But I make the decision to be a referee, make the decision to be on social media. Polly, my wife, doesn’t make the decision to be a referee.
“On Saturday night, direct insults directed against Polly began. Then, over the course of the next two to three days, Polly was subjected to direct abuse as well as threats of sexual assault and threats against the children.
“That raises the stakes considerably. After playing 100 games, you assume you can be ready for the majority of situations. That is impossible to plan for.
“I don’t mind if people criticize how I performed; if they want to slander me, that’s their prerogative. But it went beyond simply crossing a line.
“It had gotten to the point where you couldn’t even see the line. It has an impact on both you and your family.