The Bok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach is in a “good headspace” ahead of this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-final despite a death threat he received on social media this week.
“He has his family around him,” the Boks’ assistant coach, Mzwandile Stick, told reporters on Friday.
“We also have to give credit to French rugby. The security measures around our hotel are on another level. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.”
Stick further said that there is no place for “thugs” in rugby. “The players are doing their job to make sure they represent their country and we are here to represent South Africa. If anyone has a problem with that, I think the French authorities will have to deal with it. But from our side, we will make sure that we protect each other: our players, management, everyone involved.”
RNews reported earlier that Reinach received a message in French on social media. The translation reads: “I hope when you return to Montpellier, you are killed by French people or a band of robbers. It’s easy to win a title by cheating.”
Reinach has been playing club rugby in Montpellier in the south of France for the past three years.
The Springboks play against England on Saturday in the semi-final of the tournament and the team remains unchanged after last weekend’s game.
England have made three changes since last weekend’s win over Fiji.
Freddie Steward will replace Marcus Smith at full-back on Saturday. Joe Marler replaces Ellis Genge at loosehead prop and 22-year-old lock George Martin stands in for Ollie Chessum.
“I don’t think there are any big surprises, it’s probably what we expected,” Stick had to say about these changes on Friday.