Bogie Mbonambi, the Springboks hooker, will find out on Monday if he can play in the Rugby World Cup final following claims that he mistreated an England player on the basis of race during their semifinal match.
Since the England semi-final ended at 11 p.m. on Saturday, charges have to be lodged against him before 11 a.m. on Monday. The citing period for verbal abuse or foul play is 36 hours from the completion of the match.
On Monday afternoon, Mbonambi and the Springboks will probably find out what happened to the hooker.
the English flank Tom Curry reported to referee Ben O’Keefe that Mbonambi had used a racial slur, and the man in the middle instructed the forward to take no action, presumably so that a citing commission could investigate the incident following the match.
After producing an incredible comeback from a 15-6 deficit in the final quarter of the match, the Springboks emerged victorious in the semi-final, 16-15. It means that the Springboks will now compete against the All Blacks in the championship game on Saturday.
‘No real precedent’
Since verbal abuse during a game has seldom resulted in consequences, it is uncertain whether Mbonambi will face a ban should charges be brought against him and he is proven guilty. As a result, director of rugby Raisi Erasmus and coach of the Springboks, Jacques Nienaber, will have to wait nervously.
In the worst case scenario, though, the Springboks will be forced to depend entirely on Deon Fourie at the hooker position if Mbonambi is not permitted to play in the championship. Despite not being a specialized hooker, Fourie has been getting ready to fill in for Malcolm Marx in the position following his injury earlier in the competition.
Handre Pollard was called up by the Siya Kolisi-led Springboks as cover at the flyhalf position rather than another hooker, and it has already paid off as the number 10’s precision from the kicking tee has been crucial in the competition’s final stages.
Additionally, World Rugby said in a statement that it was investigating the situation.
“World Rugby takes serious complaints of discriminatory conduct very seriously.
“We can officially announce that we are looking into the complaint submitted by Tom Curry of England over the use of racial slurs during Saturday’s Rugby World Cup 2023 semifinal match between South Africa and England.
“Until the process is completed, World Rugby will not be providing any additional comments.”