Reuters - Fri, 30 Jul 04:02:00 2010
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has been issued with a misconduct notice over comments he made last week about referees favouring the All Blacks.
The Springboks were beaten 32-12 and 31-17 by New Zealand in their first two Tri-Nations matches and de Villiers suggested before their clash with the Wallabies in Brisbane that the All Blacks were being favoured ahead of next year's World Cup.
"I've got my own observations about the last two tests, andI can't say it in public," he said on Australian television on July 21.
"But we do have a World Cup in New Zealand next year, and maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year."
De Villiers later backtracked on the comments, though SANZAR (South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby) said it had written to South Africa Rugby on July 22 asking them to discuss the issue with their coach and then respond to the governing body.
"Having considered the response from South Africa we have determined that Peter de Villiers' comments may constitute a breach of the SANZAR Code of Conduct and warrant further consideration by a SANZAR judicial officer," SANZAR Chief Executive Steve Tew said.
"A SANZAR appointed judicial officer will conduct a hearing in the next week with details to be advised."
De Villiers has had a difficult few days upon his team's return to South Africa after they lost 30-13 to the Wallabies in Brisbane last Saturday.
He met with SA Rugby on Thursday to discuss his side's dismal Tri-Nations campaign so far, though the organisation's president, Oregan Hoskins, later said the coach's job was safe.
SA Rugby have also had to dampen South African media reports of a rift within the Springboks' management team.