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23rd Mar 2015

South African Super Rugby player fined €14,400 for homophobic slur

With another €7,200 suspended

Patrick McCarry

Rugby is moving on, one costly fine at a time.

New South Wales Waratahs flanker Jacques Potgieter has held his hands up and apologised for a homophobic slur he directed at a Brumbies player at the weekend. Potgieter, capped three times by South Africa, was reported to match officials for abusing a Brumbies player.

He is believed to have call is opponent a ‘faggot’.

Brumbies skipper David Pocock raised the issue of Potgieter’s foul-mouthed comment twice, during his side’s defeat to the ‘Tahs, but the match referee admitted he had not heard anything. Pocock was also incensed at dismissive comments from a senior Waratahs player that ‘it’s just rugby mate’.

Potgieter, today, commented, ‘I’m very sorry for any offence caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter. It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me.’

As well as being hit with a €14,400 ($20,000) fine, the 28-year-old must attend awareness classes.

Waratahs chief executive Greg Harris declared, ‘There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and we have endeavoured as a club to embody these values on and off the field.

‘We pride ourselves on a strong culture, and this incident is by no means definitive of our collective identity as a football club.’