The Bongi Mbonambi-Tom Curry saga has taken a bizarre turn after a media report states the alleged racial abuse incident stems from a Test match in November 2022 between the Springboks and England and not Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final in France.
The new information is a bit of a surprise as Curry clearly asked New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe about half an hour into the semi-final what must he do if Bongi Mbonambi called him a “white c***” “Nothing, please,” replied O’Keeffe.
According to AFP, Curry was asked after South Africa had edged England 16-15 to reach the final whether Mbonambi, who also appeared to refuse to shake the England player’s hand at the end of the match, had said something he had taken issue with. “Yeah,” replied the 25-year-old, before adding that “it does not need to be talked about”.
However, according to Netwerk24, the alleged incident happened during the Springboks’ 27-13 win over England at Twickenham, which is apparently why World Rugby’s investigation into the matter is taking longer than expected. The two players had a bit of a run-in during that match in November, with both players grabbing each other’s jerseys during a heated moment.
World Rugby’s chief communications officer Dominic Rumbles confirmed at a press briefing on Tuesday that the investigation into Bongi Mbomambi is still ongoing and that they don’t have a set time when it must be concluded.
On the other hand, the Springboks want the Mbonambi matter to be concluded as soon as possible ahead of the World Cup final against the All Blacks on Saturday.
“We will update you as soon as we have something to update. The aim is to do that review as quickly as possible,” Rumbles said.
“The first part of the review is about gathering evidence and we will update as soon as we can.”