Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

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.


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.

Video Spacer

Rugbypass TV

Watch rugby on demand, from exclusive shows and documentaries to extended highlights from RWC 2023. Anywhere. Anytime. All for free!

Join us

Video Spacer

Rugbypass TV

Watch rugby on demand, from exclusive shows and documentaries to extended highlights from RWC 2023. Anywhere. Anytime. All for free!

Join us

“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.


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.


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,


Patrick 235 days ago

Nick - I joined the forum a couple of days ago for a bit of rugby chat and banter. Yesterday I was called a Muppet for 2yrs work with the Red Cross in Africa because I take issue with drug cheats. Obviously I cried myself to sleep but I'm stunned that there's no 100+ comment discussion about Cobus and the disgusting abuse he's had to endure. That his wife was so affected that a move home was seriously considered is a disgrace for our sport. I've spent a couple of hours trying to understand why some people think that Owen Farrell deserves the abuse he's received on social media and I stumble upon this article.
I'm England through and through but Cobus Reinach?? Seriously?? FFS he's got to be one of least offensive or controversial players/blokes in the world. World class and genuine humility? A guy who's had to wait for his chance and stepped up when asked.
I am genuinely sickened by that and judging from the type of comments certain people are capable of on this forum (without actually including any rugby content), it won't be long before a rugby player gets assassinated.
Killing a musician was inconceivable before Lennon happened and it's hardly a happy world these days.
Cheers Nick

Nick 240 days ago

Every single one of these incidents is reprehensible.
People need to get a grip. More importantly they should face consequences.
Great that Cobus made an official complaint. Didn’t know that his wife wanted to leave off the back of this. What an awful experience.

I was deliberating on whether to make this final point. Here I am.
This article has been out for just under a day now.
It’s not received any comments or much reaction. However, other similar incidents provoked some big and polarised responses.
When this story first came out at the time it simply disappeared.
I find that difficult.
It seems that anything SA simply can't be supported in the rugby world anymore. They are all just people. Playing the same sport to the same rules. Experiencing similar issues and adversity.
We would all do well to show some equal compassion.

Especially when a person's life is threatened, their livelihood challenged and their loved ones distressed.

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Jon 12 minutes ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

28 Go to comments
Wonton 7 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

28 Go to comments
TRENDING 'Won't win World Cups like that': Rassie Erasmus on the Andre Esterhuizen red card Erasmus on the Andre Esterhuizen red card