South Africa: Rassie - Boks Not Distracted By Etzebeth Assault Allegation

18 September 2019

Cape Town — Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says his side has not been distracted by the alleged assault charge that has hovered over star lock Eben Etzebeth.

The 27-year-old Etzebeth has been at the centre of a controversy following an alleged altercation that took place outside of a popular Langebaan bar in the early hours of Sunday morning on August 25.

Etzebeth has denied any wrongdoing and will take his place in the Springbok starting line-up for Saturday's colossal World Cup clash against the All Blacks in Yokohama, but the case is still being investigated in South Africa and there is the possibility that he will have to return home mid-tournament to defend himself.

SA Rugby, meanwhile, has agreed to cooperate with authorities completely while Erasmus also came out before the squad left for Japan in defence of his player.

In Tokyo on Wednesday, however, Erasmus was asked again if the Etzebeth issue had served as a distraction as preparations for the World Cup continue.

Erasmus, once more, stood by his player.

"When it first happened, it was not ideal but as I have said numerous times when I sat down with Eben, I've been coaching him since he was 18 at the Stormers and Western Province," said Erasmus.

"I know him as a person, and I've got a good relationship with him and when he tells me something, I believe him.

"And there is a thorough investigation currently in South Africa and if something comes out of that, I'm going to believe what he tells me.

"We are going to co-operate fully with the authorities in South Africa, and whenever something from their side comes up and they want something to be done, we will fully co-operate with that.

"The players know his personality, I know his personality. In the team environment, spot-on - there have been no disruptions."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:45 (SA time).

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel

New Zealand

TBA

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

Source: Sport24

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: News24Wire

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.