"You're alive!!" - Nic White praised for miraculous recovery after South African fans spot him at airport
The Springbok fans must have known the Australian players were coming through the airport, as they had a warm welcome lined up for Nic White.
There was a moment of controversy in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash between South Africa and Australia, at the Adelaide Oval. Just before half-time, Boks scrumhalf Faf de Klerk swiped at White as he took the ball from a Wallabies scrum.
The contact was not the most forceful, but White stopped in his tracks before dropping to his knees and holding his face. Referee Paul Williams yellow-carded de Klerk, saying:
"I know what you were trying to do. You are trying to go for the ball, but you've clearly got it wrong and struck someone directly in the face. So we can't have that. I know you have got it wrong, but it is a yellow card."
Not a Springbok fan, but it's a sad day for rugby when the players behave like pathetic football players. Disgusting by Nic White #AUSvRSA pic.twitter.com/5sgBqP9dF3
— Zak (@Zak96_inverted_) August 27, 2022
'You just killed a little piece of rugby's soul'
Stan Sport commentator Sean Maloney called the Faf de Klerk sanction 'one of the softest yellow cards of the year', while All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens added, "I'm not sure we want to go down this slippery slope but, to be fair to Nic White, he got clipped in the face and it's illegal."
Former Springboks captain John Smit, meanwhile, was disgusted with Nic White for his dramatic reaction to the slap. He tweeted:
'Yellow 9 just killed a little piece of rugby's soul, there'
While many South African supporters were fuming over White's reaction to such minimal contact, especially as their side lost 25-17, some saw the bright side.
The scrumhalf was spotted in an airport, in Adelaide, with his Wallabies teammates, and was serenaded by some Bok supporters:
"Hey Nic, you're alive? You're alive! A most horrific injury, mate.
"We didn't think you were going to make it. We thought you were in the ICU [intensive care], my brother!"
Rugby is dangerous! You should be thankful for every close encounter you survive pic.twitter.com/vlReuYX7lw
— Radioraps (Rikus de Beer) (@RadioRaps) August 28, 2022
White took the joshing in good form. He is expected to start next weekend's clash between Australia and South Africa, with all up for grabs in the championship, at the mid-way point.
Never underestimate the evergreen Keith Earls