England star Tom Curry has doubled down on his allegation that South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi called him a ‘white c***’ at the Rugby World Cup. The two teams faced off in the semi-finals, with the Springboks prevailing 16-15 before going on to win the tournament.
Curry approached referee Ben O’Keeffe during the hard-fought showdown against South Africa to inform him about the alleged incident. World Rugby investigated the matter after the game but decided not to issue Mbonambi with a punishment due to ‘insufficient evidence’.
Many South Africa fans theorised that the hooker may actually have used the phrase ‘wit kant’, which translates from Afrikaans as ‘white side’ and would make sense due to the colour of England’s jerseys.
Curry stayed silent on the issue as dust settled on the tournament, which the Springboks won via a narrow vicotry over New Zealand in the final. But the 25-year-old has now spoken out, and is in little doubt regarding his version of events.
“I didn’t really want to speak about it from the start,” Curry told The Daily Mail. “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.”
Appearing in Cape Town earlier this month, Mbonambi was presented with a jersey by the city’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, appearing to deride the allegations as it adorned the phrase ‘wenkant’, which translates to ‘winning side’.
The allegation against Mbonambi opened Curry up to online abuse, and he admits: “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.”