Investigation confirmed after alleged 'white c**t' comment against England's Tom Curry in South Africa defeat

Rugby news Bongi Mbonambi England Tom Curry

Rugby news: Tom Curry claims Bongi Mbonambi called him a white 'c**t'

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 23/10/2023

- 11:48

Updated: 23/10/2023

- 13:26

South Africa beat Steve Borthwick's side in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday night

World Rugby have confirmed they are investigating allegations that Bongi Mbonambi used a racial slur towards Tom Curry during South Africa's win over England on Saturday.

The Springboks booked their place in the Rugby World Cup final with a narrow 16-15 win in France.

Curry reported the alleged comment half an hour into the match.

“Sir if their hooker calls me a white c**t, what do I do?” he was heard asking the referee.

Tom Curry

Tom Curry alleges Bongi Mbonambi used a racial slur during England's Rugby World Cup defeat to South Africa


Official Ben O’Keeffe then replied saying: "Nothing please."

He later added: "I'll be on it."

World Rugby have said they are taking the allegation 'extremely seriously' and stated they won't be making any further comment.

If the South Africa star is banned, he will miss Saturday's blockbuster World Cup final clash with New Zealand - who booked their place following an emphatic 44-6 victory over Argentina on Friday.

Curry was asked about the incident after the match - but refused to disclose details of his complaint.

"Yeah," he said when asked whether something untoward had been said to him.

He then added: "It does not need to be talked about."

South Africa have already confirmed they're conducting their own investigation in order to get to the bottom of the matter.

"We are aware of the allegation, which we take very seriously, and are reviewing the available evidence," SA Rugby said.

"We will engage with Bongi if anything is found to substantiate the claim."

After the match, Mbonambi appeared to snub Curry and refuse to shake the England star's hand following South Africa's dramatic triumph.

Should the Springbok hooker be forced to miss the New Zealand clash, it will give his country a huge problem.

Mbonambi is the only specialist hooker in their squad, with Malcolm Marx replaced by Handre Pollard earlier in the tournament.

England, at one point, looked destined to make the final.

Owen Farrell was superb for the 2003 champions, scoring all of his side's points during the match.

But it wasn't enough with the 2019 winners mounting a late comeback to go through.

Speaking after the win, South Africa coach lauded his side and also praised England for their performance.

“Credit to England – they had a good tactical plan and they put us under pressure,” said Nienaber.

“We’ll have to improve on that if New Zealand uses the same tactic (in the final). But one has to commend the strength of this team for the way they find a way to get a result.

“It took us 70 minutes to get a foothold in the match, and the players refused to give up and fought until the end. I’m very proud of them for that.”

South Africa rugby

South Africa dashed England's hopes of Rugby World Cup glory on Saturday night


Captain Siya Kolisi added: “England are a world class team, and a very different team to a year ago.

"We had to dig deep to get the win and I’m proud of the way the players fought.

“It’s great to be in a position to defend our title.

"It was not about how ugly the game was, for us it was about South Africa winning the game.

“England were outstanding on the night with the way they played, and we had to fight to make it through to the final.”

England Steve Borthwick

England coach Steve Borthwick hailed his side's display despite agonising South Africa Rugby World Cup defeat


England coach Steve Borthwick also hailed his side, saying: "In any game like this you have to credit the opposition, who found a way to win at the end.

"South Africa are current world champions and world number ones for a reason. We thought we were going to win tonight and we came here believing we would win.

"The players deserve enormous credit for that. I think the tens of thousands of England fans watching here tonight and the millions watching at home will be very proud of their team.

"We have a very smart group of players that are learning very quickly because we have had to do it very quickly.

"The opposition have had four years and we have had four months. That is why the players deserve enormous credit."

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