Springbok superstar Eben Etzebeth has opened up about the alleged incident in Langebaan that overshadowed his participation in the Rugby World Cup.
Etzebeth was one of Toulon’s big signings in the summer alongside the likes of Baptiste Serin and Sergio Parisse, yet the still unresolved incident remains a topic of discussion around the 6’8, 122kg secondrow.
It is alleged Etzebeth used racial slurs against a man outside a pub in Langebaan near Cape Town in August.
The South African has always maintained his innocence throughout and in November asked for the decision for his case to be referred to the Equality Court to be reviewed, insisting that the allegations are false and that he wants a “thorough, lawful investigation”.
Etzebeh spoke in some detail about the incident in an interview with Midi Olympique in France.
One of Welsh Rugby’s biggest characters on and off the pitch, RugbyPass traveled to Brecon to see how life after rugby is treating Andy Powell.
“Firstly, and this is what I explained to the legal authorities, it’s completely false,” Etzebeth told the publication.
“I was at the place where the incident occurred and I did nothing wrong.
The 17-cap All Black fullback was evicted from the MCG on day three of the Black Caps’ test against Australia. https://t.co/EOFc22oCTd
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 28, 2019
“I said nothing. I’ve always been someone who loves people,” Etzebeth told Midi Olympique. “It’s unfortunate, but the people who took it out on me are accusing the wrong person.
“I think that they have other motives because it’s false. We’ll see what happens in the future, but the truth will end up coming out.”
The Springbok lock joined Toulon after having spent seven years with the Stormers in Super Rugby and enjoyed a short stint in Japan with NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes. The 85-times capped forward played a pivotal role in delivering South Africa’s second Rugby World Cup earlier this year and is still expected to be one of the key components in Rassie Erasmus’ side as they build towards defending their title in France in 2023.
Etzebeth admitted that the incident was the subject of a discussion with Springbok Rugby World Cup-winning coach.
“Fortunately, he believes in his players and trusted me,” he said.
“He knew that I had been honest with him and that I would never have done what they accuse me of, not least a few days from the World Cup.”
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