Springbok star on RWC death threats: I was told I’d be killed!

Springbok star Cobus Reinach says he was called a cheat and received death threats, which also extended to his family, during the World Cup.

When the Springboks eliminated host national France at the Rugby World Cup quarter-final stage of the competition, there was widespread outrage and vile accusations made against the South African team.

In particular, Bok boss Rassie Erasmus revealed the unacceptable level of hate the Springboks had been

confronted after disclosing evidence of threats made against Cobus Reinach and his little family, including death threats.

Two hateful letters were sent to Reinach, a rugby player for Montpellier in France’s club league. The first message was addressed to him, while the second included a picture of the Springbok’s child.

“Dirty son of a bitch, I hope that when you return to Montpellier you get murdered by French people on the ground, gang of thieves easy to win a title by cheating,” was the approximate translation of the one death threat message. The wording says, “Go die,” and it has a picture of Reinach Jr.


Reinach, who has been a key member of the Springbok squad for the last few years, has now opened up about the shocking abuse received and how it impacted him and his family.

“I said after the (quarter-final) match that the referee had been good under pressure, which led to me receiving

numerous texts,” he said to L’Equipe. “The first note explicitly addressed me, threatening to kill me if I returned to Montpellier.

Then my family began to worry about it. Individuals hiding behind keyboards have the ability to harm your family. This obviously crosses the line because they aren’t the ones playing against you or making choices on the field.

The French have been amazing, so I don’t want to focus on that, but this online hatred against a minority group has to stop in this game, he said. These were the ones that warned me not to return to Montpellier, that I would die, and that I was a liar.


Rassie Erasmus accompanied a post on his own X (Twitter) account with the screenshots of the death threats, saying, “This is obviously not true.” Regretfully, Cobus Reinach was the target of these threats! When anything like that is stated about their son, it hurts and annoys parents! But we’re not going to complain—we’re just going to go on! They don’t know what we know.

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