30 Jun 2009

Springboks say sorry for controversial eye-gouging comment

3:18 pm on 30 June 2009

South African rugby officials have apologised for comments after the Springboks win over the British and Irish Lions that gave the impression that they condoned eye gouging.

The Springbok flanker Schalk Burger was banned for eight weeks for gouging Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald in his country's dramatic second Test 28-25 victory that sealed a series win.

Burger was yellow carded after just 32 seconds of the game by French referee Christophe Berdos but his coach Peter de Villiers refused to condemn his player's actions, saying that the flanker should not even have been sin binned.

However the South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins and De Villiers have now issued a joint statement condemning all acts of foul play and sending out a clear message that such acts won't be tolerated.