De Villiers to face misconduct charge

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The Independent Online

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has been issued with a misconduct notice over comments he made last week about referees favouring the All Blacks.

The Springboks were beaten 32-12 and 31-17 by New Zealand in their first two Tri-Nations matches and De Villiers suggested before their encounter with the Wallabies in Brisbane last weekend that the All Blacks were being favoured ahead of next year's World Cup.

"I've got my own observations about the last two Tests, and I can't say it in public," he said on 21 July. "But we do have a World Cup in New Zealand next year, and maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year."

De Villiers later backtracked on the comments, though SANZAR (South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby) said it had written to South Africa Rugby on 22 July asking them to discuss the issue with their coach and then respond to the governing body.