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Tom Curry breaks silence on racism claim against Bongi Mbonambi

By PA
Bongi Mbonambi and Tom Curry - PA

England flanker Tom Curry stands by his accusation that South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi racially abused him in the World Cup semi-final.

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World Rugby found “insufficient evidence” to back up Curry’s claim that he was called a “white c***” by the Springboks player midway through the first half of the match in Paris.

Hooker Mbonambi has accused England of being “unprofessional” over the allegations, insisting “misunderstanding” arose because Curry failed to realise he was speaking Afrikaans, a common practice among the Springboks to ensure opponents do not understand their messages.

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But Curry, whose girlfriend and family have since suffered online abuse, insisted “I heard what I heard.”

He said in an interview with the Daily Mail: “I didn’t really want to speak about it from the start.

“For me, on both occasions, the ball was out of play. Me and Bongi were talking and there’s no misunderstanding from my part. I went to the referee straight away. I heard what I heard. That’s all I really want to say about it and I won’t really be talking about it again.

“It was tough for my family, my girlfriend and my brother. It was a tough experience but it is what it is. The investigation’s been done and that’s all I want to say about it.”

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Comments

45 Comments
T
Thomas 220 days ago

He knows what he’s heard, except he doesn’t speak Afrikaans. I always rated and liked Curry, but this seems petty and obstinate. I still want to believe, that he’s a decent guy and that he truly believes that he’s heard it. Although it’s a bit childish of him not to accept the most likely explanation, and instead he keeps thinking, that Bongi, who’s surrounded by white team mates, is a racist.

He doesn’t deserve any online abuse, though, that’s for sure. That part is ugly and shame on anyone taking part in it.

S
Sam 220 days ago

Nigel your Mother had to tie a steak on your back as a child so you can get attention from the dog.

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Nick 222 days ago

If the boot had been on the other foot the rugby and wider world would be in uproar.

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Nigel 222 days ago

So not only did mbonambi racially abuse Curry (twice) there were threats from the faceless saffa cowards. Hardly unexpected. Par for the course.

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Sam 222 days ago

Curry has to stand by his version…..doing otherwise opens him up to a law suit, or worse, is an admission of cynical play to gain an advantage in the most unsportsmanlike manner….sure his opponents will give him some deserved extra in the rucks and mauls in future….

S
Sherwin 222 days ago

Tom Curry het Afrikaans gehoor - as Bongi wou hom vloek sou Bongi die Afrikaanse woord vir c*** gebruik. Not everyone speaks English.

A
Alexander 222 days ago

I think it's best to move on from it all, as Tom Curry himself said. I personally haven't lost respect for either player as I don't truly know what went down.

D
Dawid 223 days ago

Serious question; If there was an incident last year, why did the RFU not take this serious accusation up with world rugby immediately? Why was the review not done then? Why did the coaching staff tell Curry to bring it up in the middle of a game in case it happened again? Something does not click here for me, and perhaps Im biased, but there is too much inconsistency here for to take it seriously.

s
sean 223 days ago

Taking a leaf out of Donny Trump's book…. I have lost all respect for him after this article.

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Flankly 13 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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