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Wednesday May 1, 2024

Eben Etzebeth sounds off on former England star

Springbok icon Eben Etzebeth is not one to mince his words and in a recent interview on The Rugby Pod the towering secondrow took aim at comments from England legend Courtney Lawes.

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Speaking on a previous episode of The Rugby Pod, Lawes said that the decision by Vodacom Bulls head coach Jake White to heavily rotate his side for their Investec Champions Cup quarterfinal clash against Lawes Northampton Saints was a ‘very South African thing to do’.

“My take was it’s a very South African thing to do that whole carnival around it, putting it out in the press about the eight different flights, this and that,” Lawes said at the time.

“I guarantee you that a lot of things there were at least exaggerated, to be honest, and it was a great way of them taking the pressure off themselves and essentially putting it all on us.

“Disrupting us, getting us thinking different things and not quite on the ball, and that’s what I was pretty wary of, to be honest.”

Taking exception to Lawes’ comments, Etzebeth fired back at his long time rival and defended White and the Bulls decision.

“That is Jake’s call. If you are a head coach you must be able to select who you want to,” said Etzebeth.

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“In the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, if you don’t get a home semi, the chances of you winning that competition are very low.

“You are away from home for the quarters and then it’s a semifinal away against Leinster and then you must probably play again in Europe against Toulouse.

“They [Bulls] got a lot of criticism coming their way and it is a bit unfair.

“I saw Courtney Lawes mentioning that it is a ‘South African way’.

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“I don’t know why he mentioned the whole of South Africa.

“He surely doesn’t know what is going on in South Africa, so he must rather keep his mouth shut.”

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