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Mujati in racism row

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Irish rugby side Leinster are holding a “full internal investigation” after Northampton Saints prop Brian Mujati claimed he was subjected to racial abuse during a pre-season friendly in Dublin on Friday.

Zimbabwe-born Mujati (26) made the allegations on Twitter accusing Leinster’s South African players Heinke van der Merwe and Steven Sykes of directing racially offensive remarks at him during the game.

“Racism is still alive and things don’t change. Steven Sykes and Heinke van der Merwe were calling me a baboon during the scrums last night,” Mujati posted on his Twitter feed on Saturday.

The former Springboks tight-head prop added: “I was shocked by how blatant they were being and to think I actually thought I knew Heinke from back in the Lions days.

“The guy then tries to shake my hand after the game. Naturally I kindly told him to f*** off. I wish them all the best with their careers.”

Mujati – who earned 12 caps with the Springboks — later removed the postings.

Van der Merwe and Sykes are understood to be denying the allegations.

The only comment the Irish province would make was in a statement which said: “Following allegations made by a Northampton Saints player this morning via his personal Twitter account, Leinster Rugby are holding a full internal investigation.

“The managements of both teams are in close communication and hopefully the matter will be resolved as soon as possible.

“No further comment will be made at this time until that resolution has been reached.”

A Northampton spokesman said: “The club takes any allegations like this very seriously. We will be talking to the player concerned about it and contacting Leinster. We will not make any further comment at this time.”

The English Rugby Football Union have confirmed that because the alleged incident took place on Irish soil it falls outside of their jurisdiction.

The Irish Rugby Football Union have said they are in touch with Leinster and Northampton on the matter.
—Sports Reporter/ Belfast Telegraph

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