Boks tries to keep Argentina sharp amid Jantjies scandal: ‘It was handled professionally’ | Sport

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  • Springbok’s assistant coach Deon Davids insisted their focus remained on the confrontation with Argentina, despite Elton Jantjies’ latest storm.
  • Flyhalf Jantjies and team dietitian Zeenat Simjee were sent home from Argentina after reports of an alleged affair in Mbombela emerged.
  • The Boks prepare in Argentina for the Pumas in the Rugby Championship on Saturday (21:10).

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids insisted their focus remained on the clash with Argentina, despite the latest storm from Elton Jantjies engulfing the national team.

Flyhalf Jantjies and team dietitian Zeenat Simjee were both sent home from Argentina, where the Boks are preparing to face the Pumas in the Rugby Championship, after reports emerged of an alleged affair in Mbombela.

The incident is said to have taken place the week of the game between SA and New Zealand, which the Springboks won 26-10.

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Jantjies, who is married with three children, has reportedly failed to take into account a retirement account in Mbombela, where he stayed outside the team hotel, to the tune of R26,000, according to Sunday’s Report.

Although the bill was eventually settled and that “no team protocols were violated” in the incident, the scandal has shaken the Springbok camp to its foundations.

“We handled the situation in a professional manner,” Davids said at Monday’s standard press conference, where questions about Jantjies were limited.

“We understand where our focus should be as a team and I can assure you that it is completely on the big challenge that lies ahead against Argentina.

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“We’ve had mixed results against them here in the past and they are a difficult team to beat here.

“We need all our focus in our preparation to get a good pay. We all know that the competition between the teams is quite close.

“The next two games will be finals and that’s how we’re going to do it. To do that, we need to be clear in our preparation and what’s important to us.”

Although the media was told that the assistant coach and player in attendance, hooker Malcolm Marx, would not answer questions about Jantjies’ situation, Davids was questioned about the roles and responsibilities of team members, backroom staff and management as role models.

“It’s a difficult question to answer, one that would probably be given with all due respect to the head coach (Jacques Nienaber),” said Davids.

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“But what I can tell you is that everyone in this setup knows what a huge honor it is to be part of this team, a privilege.

“We understand that we represent the whole of South Africa and that comes with a whole range of responsibilities.

“That overall responsibility is reflected in the promise the players make when they become Springbok.

“That’s how we try to do our job. We know that this Bok team belongs to everyone.”

In a statement on Sunday, SA Rugby said: No team protocols have been violated, but the individuals are returning to South Africa to attend these personal reports and to eliminate all distractions from the team’s preparations for the test against Argentina.