Tue. Feb 27th, 2024
Cobus Reinach will start for South Africa in their Rugby World Cup semi-final against England on Saturday

Cobus Reinach remains “in a good space” after the South Africa scrum-half was sent death threats, assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has said.

Reinach received sickening messages on social media in the aftermath of the Springboks’ quarter-final win over hosts France at the Rugby World Cup.

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus posted a screenshot of the abusive comments on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

South Africa play their semi-final against England in Paris on Saturday.

“We don’t have a place for hooligans in our game,” said Stick. “The players do their job to make sure they represent their country and we are here to represent South Africa.

“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.”

Former Northampton scrum-half Reinach plays his club rugby in France with Montpellier.

Stick said: “In our camp, we must also give credit to the French security around our hotels. With all the teams, the security is just another level.

“I don’t think at the moment there is something to worry about because we know for sure we are well protected in our camps.

“It’s good to see our players also in a good space when they’ve got their families around. That’s one thing we as a coaching staff and management are finding a good balance in the sense of getting the human side first to be happy.”

Springboks do not see themselves as favourites

Reinach, 33, started ahead of Faf de Klerk at scrum-half in the quarter-final victory and has kept his place for the last-four tie against England, with the Springboks unchanged naming an unchanged team.

Reigning champions South Africa go into the repeat of the 2019 final as favourites, but hooker Bongi Mbonambi said they would not be underestimating their opponents.

“I don’t think we’ve ever mentioned England as underdogs. I think it would be very disrespectful to them,” he said.

“It’s knockout rugby, anything can happen. It’s going to be a tough game, a very physical game. We never see ourselves as favourites.”

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