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Armband Protest

SOUTH Africa's players and coaches wore white armbands with the word "Justice" during Saturday's third test against the British and Irish Lions as a protest against Bakkies Botha's two-week suspension which ruled him out of the game.

Botha was cited for a challenge on Lions prop Adam Jones which left the Welshman with a dislocated shoulder during the Springboks' 28-25 victory at Pretoria.

The Boks appealed against the ruling and the ban but were turned down on Thursday.

Piet Heymans, chief executive of the South African Rugby Players' Association, explained the protest on SARPA's Website.

"The Springbok players all feel for Bakkies as he will miss this memorable final test against the British and Irish Lions," Heymans wrote. "Over an extended period of time numerous other players have charged into rucks without binding but were either not penalized at all or received only a penalty. Bakkies hit a ruck just before this one in question in a similar style and was not penalized. Coaches are coaching players to hit rucks in this manner and therefore this is a major cause of apprehension."

Asked whether he thought the Boks would get into trouble with the IRB for the armband protest, team captain John Smit replied: "We'll have to see."


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