De Villiers to learn fate on Monday

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The Independent Online

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers will learn on Monday whether he will be sanctioned following his misconduct hearing yesterday.

De Villiers was charged by Sanzar, the governing body for South Africa, New Zealand and Australia's combined rugby competitions, for criticising Tri-Nations referees and implying there was a conspiracy to boost the All Blacks' popularity for the World Cup in New Zealand next year.

Following two thrashings of the Springboks by the All Blacks in New Zealand, refereed by Irishmen Alan Lewis and Alain Rolland, De Villiers questioned their rulings on television on 21 July. "I've got my own observations about the last two Tests, and maybe I can't say it in public, 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," he said.

This week, SARU president Oregan Hoskins called the Sanzar charge "a declaration of war by Australia and New Zealand against South Africa," and promised to defend De Villiers "to the hilt".

The Springboks' next outing is against the All Blacks on 21 August in Johannesburg.