Worst case scenario for Springboks if Bongi Mbonambi is charged by World Rugby

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Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi will know if he is eligible for selection in the Rugby World Cup final on Monday after allegations that he racially abused an England player during their semi-final.

The citing period for verbal abuse or foul play is 36 hours from the end of the match, and with the semi-final against England ending around 11pm on Saturday, it means charges had to be brought against him before 11am on Monday morning.

Mbonambi and the Springboks will likely learn of the hooker’s fate sometime on Monday afternoon.

England flank Tom Curry told referee Ben O’Keefe that Mbonambi had used a racial slur, and the man in the middle told the forward to not do anything about it – presumably for a citing commission to look into the matter after the clash.

The Springboks won the semi-final 16-15, after mounting a stunning comeback as they trailed 15-6 during the last quarter of the match. It means the Springboks will now take on the All Blacks in the final on Saturday.

‘No real precedent’

There is little in the way of precedents for verbal abuse during a game, therefore it is unclear if Mbonambi will cop a ban if charges are laid and/or he is found guilty. Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber and Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus will have a nervous wait in store as a result.

However, in a worst case scenario for the Springboks, if Mbonambi is not allowed to play the final – they will have to rely solely on Deon Fourie in the hooker position. Fourie is not a specialist hooker, but has been preparing to provide cover in the position after the injury to Malcolm Marx earlier in the tournament.

The Siya Kolisi-led Springboks opted to call up Handre Pollard as cover in the flyhalf position instead of another hooker, which has already paid dividends as the number 10’s accuracy from the kicking tee has been vital in the knockout stages of the competition.