11 Aug 2010

South Africa coach cleared of misconduct

5:42 am on 11 August 2010

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has been cleared of misconduct by Tri-Nations organisers over comments he made suggesting New Zealand had favourable treatment because it was hosting of next year's World Cup.

De Villiers made the remarks on Australian television in July after the world champion Springboks were beaten 32-12 and 31-17 by the All Blacks in their first two Tri-Nations matches of the season.

"I've got my own observations about the last two tests, and I can't say it in public," he said.

"But we do have a World Cup in New Zealand next year, and maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year."

The charge of misconduct was dismissed by Jannie Lubbe, governing body SANZAR's judicial official after a hearing last Friday.

In a statement, SANZAR said De Villiers never mentioned or referred to referees or match fixing.

South Africa Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins said that De Villiers' comments to the media would be monitored on an "ongoing basis".