England's Tom Curry accuses South Africa's Bongi Mbonambi of alleged racial slur during World Cup semi-final

Tom Curry has alleged he was subjected to a racial slur from South Africa's Mbongeni Mbonambi
©Steve Haag

England flanker Tom Curry has accused South Africa's Bongi Mbonambi of calling him a 'white c**t' in their World Cup semi-final defeat on Saturday night.

During the first half at the Stade de France, the Sale Sharks star made a complaint to referee Ben O'Keefee. Over the ref mic, you can hear Curry say: 'Sir, sir, if their hooker calls me a white c**t, what do I do?'

O'Keefee responds: 'Nothing, please.'

After the final whistle, there was an altercation between Mbonambi and Curry, and it appeared as though the Springboks hooker refused to shake the hand of the England forward.

Curry was asked about the incident in the post-match 'mixed zone' interview area. Asked if Mbonmabi had said something he shouldn't have, the Sale man said: “Yeah.”

He was then asked whether he could say what had been said and if it had been cleared up at the end:  “No, It doesn’t need to be talked about. Listen, I’m not talking about it now."

There is a 36-hour window for the match-citing officer to refer an incident for disciplinary investigation and speaking on Sunday afternoon, England boss Steve Borthwick said he would not comment on the situation.

England were left crestfallen after South Africa dug deep to clinch a 16-15 victory to secure a place in another World Cup final.

A late and debatable scrum penalty was awarded to the Springboks and Handre Pollard, who had replaced starting fly-half Marnie Libbock after just 31 minutes, kept his cool to snatch the win for the world champions.

For over an hour, it looked like England were going to upset the odds with Owen Farrell kicking four penalties and a brilliant drop-goal to put Steve Borthwick's side 15-6 up but the Boks unloaded their 'bomb squad' to turn the tide in their favour.

Ox Nche and co did the damage and they set the platform for RG Snyman to score the only try of the semi-final before Pollard held his nerve to set up a meeting with New Zealand in next Saturday's final.

"I think there’s a lot of growth in this [England] team," Borthwick said on Sunday. "You’ve seen growth in this tournament. It hasn’t always been linear, or always been a step forward. Sometimes it’s not the straight-forward path you want it to be. That’s what I want this week, that we make sure we take more growth and move forward. Then our proper reflection post the tournament, [we’ll think about] the next path.

"In the adversity, and in the feelings and emotions of the game last night I know that we’ll get stronger from it."