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Cobus Reinach has opened up on last month's World Cup death threat

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Springboks scrum-half Cobus Reinach has opened up about the death threat he received last month after South Africa knocked host nation France out of the Rugby World Cup in Paris.

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The 33-year-old, who has been playing his club rugby in Montpellier since a 2020 move from Northampton, was a starter for his country in their quarter-final against the French and he was subjected to online abuse following his team’s dramatic 29-28 victory.

Reinach is now two appearances into his 2023/24 return at Montpellier in the Top 14 and ahead of their home game this Saturday against Oyonnax, he has told L’Equipe, the French daily sports newspaper, what happened last month in the wake of South Africa’s elimination of the World Cup hosts.

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“I said after the game that the referees were good under pressure which got me a lot of messages,” he explained. “The first message concerned me directly, telling me not to return to Montpellier, otherwise I would be killed.

“Then it starts to affect my family. People, behind their keyboards, who can attack your family… They are not the ones who make decisions on the field or plays against your team, so clearly it’s over the line.

“I don’t want to dwell on that because the French have been incredible but this online harassment, which concerns a minority, must stay out of this game.

“Those people who told me not to come back to Montpellier, that I was going to die, that I was a cheater, that I had to go to the anti-doping control, which is what I did after that match,” he quipped with a smile.

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Reinach, whose wife wanted to quit France and return to South Africa because of the threat, added that he filed a complaint in the aftermath so that French police could investigate the threat and ensure that the most threatening cyberbullies do not live near Montpellier where he lives with his family.

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Eabn 8 hours ago
Open-minded Schmidt takes hands-on approach to Australia challenge

Who cares - boring is good when it comes to Media - they don’t bug you as much. While the focus is on the resurrection of the Wallabies, don’t forget the grass roots - Any opportunity you have to visit, train or promote Rugby down here in Melbourne / Regional is pretty much imperative given the current situation with the Rebels. I’m talking about us grass roots clubs and more so, clubs in the West of Melbourne who are being absolutely smashed by Rugby League and who have been contributing directly to the game down here long before the Rebels emerged and no doubt will do so well after they may be gone. All I have heard is all about the elite level, not the grass roots level so while the talk is about “ The Wallabies” and “Super Rugby Pacific” get back to the roots of Union and include us in your plans. So Phil Waugh and those leaders within RugbyAustralia, it’s on you to ensure the bottom feeders, so to speak, are included in all the talk and the funding if you want Union to regain ground and more respect within the Union and also the broader sporting fraternity. Given you have been in Melbourne a number off times over the last month, extending the courtesy of having a meet and greet with Victorian grass root clubs eluded you for some reason. Do we count or matter in RA’s and yours bigger picture?? Ean Drummond - Club Founder/President - Wyndham City Rhinos RUFC Inc. Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne.

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