Coach 'not condoning foul play'

SPRINGBOKS coach Peter de Villiers and his bosses at the South African Rugby Union (Saru) have apologised for his apparent acceptance that Schalk Burger's gouging of Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald' s eye was just part of the game. Burger was banned for eight weeks after being shown a yellow card and sin-binned in South Africa's 28-25 victory over the British and Irish Lions in Pretoria on Saturday.

SPRINGBOKS coach Peter de Villiers and his bosses at the South African Rugby Union (Saru) have apologised for his apparent acceptance that Schalk Burger's gouging of Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald' s eye was just part of the game. Burger was banned for eight weeks after being shown a yellow card and sin-binned in South Africa's 28-25 victory over the British and Irish Lions in Pretoria on Saturday.

Some felt he should have been sent off but De Villiers said he didn't think even a yellow card was warranted.

"I don't think it was a card at all," he said. "There was a lot of needle and, if you dissect the whole game, you will see yellow cards that were missed."

On Monday De Villiers said that efforts to take the physical elements out of the game might turn rugby into ballet .

"Why don't we all go to the nearest ballet shop, get some nice tutus and get some great dancing going on. No eye gouging, no tackling, no nothing. Then enjoy," he told reporters.

Saru issued a statement on Monday in which both De Villiers and Saru president Oregan Hoskins apologised. - Sapa

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