Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock says the allegations against his teammates stemming from their trip to South Africa aren’t a distraction heading into this week’s game.
Speaking to media Whitelock said: “I think any team, business or sports team can turn things into a positive or a negative”.
Players, including All Blacks Richie Mo’unga and George Bridge, are the subject of independent investigations following allegations of offensive behaviour while the team were in South Africa earlier this month.
Five-eighth Mo’unga is alleged to have spat beer towards a group at a bar in Pretoria while fullback Bridge was in a group accused of homophobic and intimidating behaviour towards at least two gay men at a fast food restaurant in Cape Town.
But the pair have been named to start against the Blues in Christchurch tomorrow night amongst a squad Whitelock says has come together despite the distraction.
“We’re trying to make sure it’s a positive to build us up first, not take us down.
“First of all, we make sure the boys are good and in a really good head space and then hopefully we can put it all out there together.”
It’s an approach coming from the top down with coach Scott Robertson saying he had no issue with selections this week.
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Scott Robertson says his players have been supporting one another following the alleged scandals in South Africa.
Source: 1 NEWS
“I have had a number of conversations with them and looked them in the eye,” Robertson said.
“Firstly, from a personal point of view, are they OK? Then I talked to them about their role in the team and they’re really keen to play.
“There is no reason that they shouldn’t play, from our point of view. And now the process has started in the investigation, it makes them feel comfortable because they can get their point of view out, now they can go and be professional and play rugby.”
The Crusaders host the Blues at Christchurch Stadium tomorrow at 7:30pm.
Source link : https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/rugby/sam-whitelock-says-crusaders-using-cape-town-allegations-galvanise-squad-ahead-blues-clash
Publish date : 2019-05-23 23:39:25