The strange way South Africa influenced the referee in the World Cup Final

The Springboks had a unique way of gaining favourable decisions from Jerome Garces as they triumphed against 32-12 in final, research has found.

‘The research included analysis on how the referees blew games of rugby, from scrummaging to the dark arts at the breakdown and the offside line. But it went much deeper than that,’ Burnard wrote in his book – in an excerpt published by SA Rugby Magazine.

‘The level of detail in the refereeing reports included personality traits, all with the hope of finding an edge. 

‘The Springboks would role play at team meetings and at training sessions, practising what they would say to the match officials with the research in mind.

‘The report compiled on Garces, for example, revealed that he responded well to being complimented on his physical appearance. 

‘If the match was fast-paced, the Boks would make a point of praising Garces on his condition and his ability to keep up with the players, hoping to rub him up the right way.’


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6 players who could have played for other countries but didn’t

Here are five of the biggest stars who could have played for England, but didn’t.

1. James Haskell – Wales

 The hulking England forward opened up about his Welsh heritage to BBC Wales. He said: “I’m actually half Welsh, and I’m fully Welsh qualified, so I could have quite happily played for Wales,”

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