Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

SANZAR to investigate De Villiers

Peter de Villiers

SANZAR have called a misconduct hearing to look into comments made by South Africa coach Peter de Villiers that alleged referees were showing bias towards New Zealand.

De Villiers is accused of saying that there was a conspiracy to make sure New Zealand were successful, in an effort to help them attract greater crowds when they host next year's World Cup, on Australia's Fox Sports 'Rugby Club' programme on July 21.

The Springbok coach had said: "I've got my own observations about the last two tests (against New Zealand), and I can't say it in public. 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 news further increases the pressure on De Villiers, who has seen his side well-beaten in their opening three Tri Nations fixtures with their tactics appearing outdated compared to the high tempo attacking style favoured by Australia and New Zealand.

SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Ruby) chief executive Steve Tew said: "Having considered the response from South Africa we have determined that Peter de Villiers' comments may constitute a breach of the SANZAR Code of Conduct and warrant further consideration by a SANZAR Judicial Officer."

The South African Rugby Union says it will make no comment on the matter until after the judicial process ends. The hearing is due to take place within the next week.

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