England rugby star Curry suffers ‘disgusting’ abuse after allegation of racism

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England star Tom Curry has reportedly been the subject of ‘disgusting’ threats after reporting an allegation of racism during his side’s defeat to South Africa in the World Cup semi-final last Saturday. He alleged that Bongi Mbonambi called him a ‘white c***’ and was heard asking referee Ben O’Keeffe about how to report the comment.

England were narrowly beaten 16-15 by the Springboks last weekend, with a late penalty from Handre Pollard proving decisive with just minutes left on the close. South Africa have been praised for fighting back with their ‘suicide squad’, though their victory has been overshadowed by allegations of racism from Mbonambi.

World Rugby is investigating the incident, which occurred during the first half of the match and raised to O’Keeffe. Since the matter has gone public, Curry has been the victim of an onslaught of social media abuse from Springboks supporters accusing the hooker of ‘lying’.

Speaking about the abuse that 25-year-old has suffered, Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson said: “I don’t understand how what someone does on the rugby field causes them to receive threats.

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“It is disgusting. It is out of order. I don’t know the modern world. I am not on social media for this very reason. It is the worst part of the world we live in.”

There have been suggestions that Curry misheard a call from Mbonambi in Afrikaans, though there has been no further information revealed on that front. England assistant manager Richard Wigglesworth is impressed with how his team have rallied around the flanker to ensure that he has received the support that he needs from all parties.

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“The other players will have got around him,” Wigglesworth said. “Steve [Borthwick] and the management team have been all over it. All that stuff, I’m sure he’s getting every bit of the support that he needs. I’m not sure you can ever put yourself in those shoes and know how it feels but what I do know is that he’s an impressive young man who if selected on Friday, he’ll pour everything into that England shirt as he has done on the other 49 occasions.”

It remains to be seen whether Curry features in the third-place play-off against Argentina or whether Borthwick decides to take the England star out of the limelight whilst the investigation is ongoing, despite there being a bronze medal on the line at the Stade de France.

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