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South Africa condemn death threat sent to scrum-half Cobus Reinach

The Springboks have condemned the death threat sent to their scrum-half Cobus Reinach, saying: “We don’t have a place for hooligans in our game.” The former Northampton scrum-half, who now plays for Montpellier, was targeted on social media after South Africa’s quarter-final victory over France with the assistant coach Mzwandile Stick revealing that the French authorities are looking into the matter.

Reinach started last Sunday’s match against France and keeps his place for Saturday’s semi-final against England despite the abuse, which was highlighted by the South Africa director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus. The message sent to Reinach, translated from French, read: “Dirty son of a bitch. I hope that when you return to Montpellier you get murdered by French people on the ground. Gang of thieves. Easy to win a title by cheating.”

The quarter-final featured several contentious incidents including Cheslin Kolbe charging down Thomas Ramos’s conversion attempt. Many France supporters criticised the performance of the match officials, while Les Bleus’ captain Antoine Dupont suggested the referee Ben O’Keeffe was not “up to the level of the game” after the 29-28 defeat.

Confirming Reinach was “in a good space”, Stick said: “We’re well aware of the situation with Cobus and his family. We don’t have a place for hooligans in our game. The players do their job to make sure they represent their country and we are here to represent South Africa.

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“If somebody has got a problem with that, I think the French authorities will have to deal with that. But from our side, we’ll make sure we protect each other: our players, management, everyone involved. We don’t have a place for that in the game. You win some, lose some as part of the game. Whoever sent that message to the player, I’m really disappointed about that. We’ll keep doing everything in our powers to make sure we make our people proud at home. Regarding the situation, I think it’s well handled now by the French authorities.”