‘This is tragic news’


Ian Foster offered his condolences to Eben Etzebeth after the death of his father, Harry. The Springbok captain can decide for himself whether he wants to play in Saturday’s Rugby Championship showdown or return to South Africa.

“This is tragic news and I am sure that they (the Springboks) will handle it in the right way,” said the New Zealand rugby coach.

According to AFP, this is a very emotional time for the 31-year-old lock because he enjoyed a close bond with his father.

Among other things, last year Etzebeth got permission to play his 100th Springbok Test in Cape Town so that his father could attend.

The Springboks thrashed the Wallabies 43-12 at Loftus Versfeld and Foster believes that the South Africans will always be formidable opponents, regardless of whether Etzebeth plays or not.

“We haven’t really thought about the impact (of the Springbok captain’s possible absence) yet, but South Africa has many top players. We saw that last week and I know they can adapt to any situation, but for now we want to express our condolences to Eben.”

Etzebeth was recently named SA Rugby’s player of the year, while he also worked hard to be ready for the match after a shoulder injury.