Etzebeth blasts former players and coaches who've criticised the Boks

Eben Etzebeth of South Africa leaves the field through injury during the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship game between South Africa and New Zealand at Newlands Rugby Stadium on 7 October 2017.
Eben Etzebeth of South Africa leaves the field through injury during the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship game between South Africa and New Zealand at Newlands Rugby Stadium on 7 October 2017.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Springboks stand-in captain Eben Etzebeth has fired a salvo at former players and coaches who have been critical of the team on their tour of Europe.

Etzebeth said the critics do not always know what they are talking about.

Asked to respond to some of the fierce criticism leveled against the team by Nick Mallet and Naas Botha following the narrow 24-22 loss to Wales at the weekend‚ the big lock said: “They don’t always know what they are talking about.”

“I enjoy captaincy a lot and I don’t really remove myself from the game.

"As far as I know I have always done what I am expected to do and being captain is a responsibility that I love doing.”

Etzebeth also became the second senior Springbok player after Siya Kolisi to openly support embattled coach Allister Coetzee to continue coaching the team.

“I have no say in that (whether he stays of not) but if the decision was up to me I will keep him as a Springbok coach‚” said Etzebeth‚ adding that they missed opportunities on tour.

“We had our few opportunities to win matches which we did not take.

"In the four games (against Wales‚ Italy‚ France and Ireland)‚ we could have won (them all) but we will be looking to do better next year.

"We are the guys who go into the field and not the coaches.

"We are going to have to do better next time.”

The Boks beat France and Italy but went down to Wales and Ireland.

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