All Blacks deliberately ‘poisoned’

Rory Steyn, former chief bodyguard to Nelson Mandela, believes betting syndicates were behind the poisoning of the All Blacks before the 1995 World Cup final.

The Springboks claimed a historic victory over the All Blacks in a thrilling final at Ellis Park, but Steyn told the New Zealand Herald that he believed players had been poisoned by betting syndicates.

'On the Thursday [22 June] before the final, which was on Saturday [24 June], they were poisoned. About two-thirds of the squad got very sick, properly sick,' he said. 'I believe it was the water that was got at, because the food that was served at lunch time … was chicken burgers and hamburgers. I don't think it was the food, I think it was the coffee and the tea, and possibly even the drinking water.'

Steyn said he had advised against a decision by the All Blacks management for the team to eat separately from the rest of the hotel guests in the week leading up to the final.

Although Steyn said he didn't believe anyone in South African rugby was behind the 'poisoning', he suggested it could have been those involved in betting syndicates as the 'odds were on the All Blacks'.

'I know what I saw … a team of guys lying on the floor, very, very ill.'

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Photo: Mark Leech/Getty Images

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