England’s Star Player Claims He Was Racially Abused by South Africa’s Vice Captain

Rugby Sport

In a stunning turn of events, England flanker Tom Curry has alleged that he was racially abused by South African hooker and vice-captain Mbongeni Mbonambi during England’s Rugby World Cup semi-final loss.


The incident occurred during Saturday’s match, where England suffered a narrow 16-15 defeat to the Springboks at the Stade de France.

Curry brought the matter to the attention of referee Ben O’Keeffe around the half-hour mark, seeking guidance on how to respond to the discriminatory remark. O’Keeffe assured Curry that he would handle the situation. When questioned about the incident after the match, Curry confirmed that something inappropriate had been said but chose not to disclose the exact words.

World Rugby has provided England with a 36-hour window after the game’s conclusion to file a complaint with the citing officer. They have until 11 a.m. CAT on Monday to take action. In response, South Africa has acknowledged the allegation and stated that they are thoroughly examining the available evidence. SA Rugby emphasized its commitment to addressing the issue seriously and assured cooperation if the claim is substantiated.

If the citing officer uncovers evidence of the alleged racist remark, disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against Mbonambi under law 9.12, which prohibits verbal abuse. The incident, if proven, could lead to actions taken under the ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ banner.


During a media briefing on Sunday, South Africa’s forwards coach, Deon Davids, claimed unawareness of the incident and expressed uncertainty about any comments made during the match.

Semi-final Drama and Final Matchups

The semi-final was a closely contested affair, with England holding the lead for most of the game. However, South Africa managed to stage a comeback, securing victory with Handre Pollard’s decisive penalty in the 78th minute. In a sign of tension, Mbonambi notably declined to shake Curry’s hand at the end of the intense clash in Paris.

As a result of this victory, South Africa advances to the World Cup final against New Zealand at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday, October 28, with a 9 p.m. CAT kick-off. Meanwhile, England will face Argentina in the World Cup third-place play-off at the same venue on Friday, October 27, at 9 p.m. CAT.