IRB investigate Boks protest

South Africans under investigation for armbands worn against Lions

Last Updated: 05/07/09 2:22pm

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Smit: Leading the protest

Smit: Leading the protest

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The International Rugby Board (IRB) is to probe South Africa's protest against the suspension of Bakkies Botha.

The Springboks sported white armbands emblazoned with "Justice 4 Bakkies" during the third Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday.

The IRB's decision to ban Botha for a dangerous charge on Lions prop Adam Jones in the second Test was heavily criticised by both coach Peter de Villiers and captain John Smit.

And, following an unsuccessful appeal against the decision, they decided to launch the protest with the blessing of the South African Players' Association (SARPU).

"Over an extended period of time, numerous other players have charged into rucks without binding, but were either not penalised at all or received only a penalty," South African Rugby Players' Association chief executive Piet Heymans said.

"Bakkies hit a ruck just before the one in question in a similar style and was not penalised.

"The players want to send a clear message that they require the International Rugby Board to have an urgent and serious re-look at Law 10.4.

"The inconsistency has upset the players, and they felt very strongly that they must take a firm stance and show their unhappiness with the application of the relevant law.

"We will be consulting with our legal team next week to consider all our legal options available to assist Bakkies Botha and provide him with a sense of justice."

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