Rugby Union: Mordt faces inquiry

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THE International Rugby Board is to investigate the appointment of Ray Mordt, the former Springbok wing, as the fitness instructor to the South African tour party due to arrive in Cardiff next month, writes Robert Cole.

Mordt played 18 times for South Africa, scoring 12 tries, before joining his fellow Springbok Rob Louw at Wigan in 1985. He was reinstated as an amateur in 1991. But the International Rugby Board rules on reinstatement are explicit. Amateur Regulation 7.4 states: 'Once reinstated, such Person will be permitted to coach, select, organise, administer or promote the Game below National Representative level only.'

In effect, Mordt will act as an assistant to new coach Kitch Christie, with whom has worked at champion province Transvaal, and his deputy Gysie Pienaar. 'I am looking into the matter. This could be a debateable issue,' Keith Rowlands, the IRB secretary, said.

Mordt is all set to take over as the Transvaal coach this week following Christie's final outing in Saturday's Lion Cup final against Western Province. The Springboks have also restored the Natal players Andre Joubert and James Small to their training squad for their tour to Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Joubert, who played for the Barbarians at Bath at the weekend, claimed he and Small had been made 'public scapegoats' at the end of their recent tour to New Zealand where they lost two of the Tests and drew the final one.

'We were painted as the bad boys, but after the public outcry of the axing of the Natal players we've been told we're back in the squad,' Joubert said.

Jeremy Guscott, the England and Bath player who has not played a competitive game since last October because of a pelvic injury, announced on Saturday that should be fit for England's Test against Romania in November.