AUDIO: Rassie believes Eben's version of Langebaan brawl
REACTION: Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has backed the version of seasoned lock Eben Etzebeth in the infamous Langebaan brawl.
Etzebeth, 27, has vehemently denied the claims that he was involved in an unsavoury incident in the sleepy West Coast town at the weekend.
The accusations against Etzebeth – based on a grainy and dark video that shows very little – suggested he had assaulted and pointed a gun at a homeless man in the West Coast town.
Etzebeth, capped 78 times for the Boks, took to Facebook to deny the reports.
Police investigated the incident and according to reports have already cleared Etzebeth.
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Erasmus admitted to being “definitely worried” when he first heard the news, because “if there was any truth to it, that would have been a massive problem for us”.
The Bok coach said he spoke to the player to hear his side of the story.
“There is trust between a coach and player,” Erasmus said, adding: “I have to trust him to do some stuff on the field and win Test matches, and he must trust me to believe him when he tells me something.
“I’m pretty comfortable with what he has told me.
“You can’t just believe what someone else says on social media.
“I’m comfortable that it’s not the truth, what was said on social media, and if anything like that happens and is the truth then they would not be part of our team and would not go to the World Cup.
“Until something like that gets proven, then it’s just a rumour in my opinion.
“At this stage, it is not [true].”
Erasmus’ backing of the player follows a statement from the South Africa Rugby Union which also backed the player.
“We have spoken to Eben and he categorically denies any physical or racial abuse on his part as alleged in social media,” the statement said.
“SARU has no tolerance for acts of violence or racial abuse. We will co-operate with the authorities in any way necessary.”