Former bodyguard to Nelson Mandel Rory Steyn has claimed that the All Blacks were deliberately poisoned ahead of the World Cup final, believing betting syndicates were to blame.
Conspiracy theories have surrounded the game for years with former All Blacks winger Eric Rush claiming that had the final been staged 24 hours earlier, The All Blacks would have been unable to field a team.
The All Blacks were so paranoid ahead of the final, they decided they would eat separately to the rest of the guests in the team hotel in Johannesburg. Steyn advised the squad against this.
I said that makes it easier to target them, I didn’t think it was a good idea.
On the Thursday [June 22] before the final, which was on Saturday [June 24], they were poisoned. About two-thirds of the squad got very sick, properly sick.
I believe it was the water that was got at, because the food that was served at lunch time … was chicken burgers and hamburgers.
He said some who ate chicken were sick and some who ate beef were sick.
I don’t think it was the food, I think it was the coffee and the tea and possibly even the drinking water.
An investigation following the tournament proved nothing, although Steyn has said that “I know what I saw … A team of guys lying on the floor, very, very ill”.
Steyn says that the South African rugby union was not involved, stating that betting syndicates were responsible, as “the odds were on the All Blacks”. [New Zealand Herald]