Super Rugby 2019: Crusaders coach Scott Robertson denies allegations of homophobic incident

The Crusaders player at the centre of an alleged homophobic incident in South Africa has "absolutely nothing to hide", according to head coach Scott Robertson.

On Monday, user 'adamlenoxx' tweeted about an encounter with three players at a Cape Town McDonald's, accusing them of "homophobic slurs" and "physically intimidating" him and his friends.

He singled out fringe All Black George Bridge as one of the primary offenders, but Robertson says he's had an extensive conversation about the details of the evening with Bridge, who will address the incident directly on Tuesday.

"He's extremely authentic and genuine that there was nothing ever said - homophobic words or gestures," Robertson told Newshub, after arriving back in Christchurch.

"We're just really clear that we want to get the truth across and we stand by everything that George said about that interaction. He's willing to stand up [Tuesday], he's got absolutely nothing to hide."

"He's really upset around everything that's come out."

While David Havili and Brayden Ennor were also identified by the accuser, Robertson insists they were both mere bystanders and "never had any dialogue with anyone".

Robertson relayed Bridge's version of events, which Bridge said began when he requested a photo with one of the McDonald's patrons, assumed to be an acquaintance of the accuser.

"The guy had been offended by it and George said, 'why, I just wanted to have a photo with you?' and he's got the reasons for it.

"The guy said, 'mate, can you delete it?' and George said, 'yeah I can do anything you want', and then it sort of turned."

Robertson said they'd addressed the Israel Folau incident - the Wallabies star axed for anti-gay social media comments - as a team and the alleged actions were completely out of line with his side's moral compass.

"As a team, our culture and our values have been strong. We're clear we understand what happened over the ditch, and it's in the forefront of our mind, the current situation with Israel [Folau]."

"We've talked about it as a group, so there's no reason for George to say anything."

"We had a great week in South Africa. Everything was fine, everyone was on curfew, there was one or two beers, because we're travelling the next day."

The 24-year-old Bridge is struggling with the allegations, but eager for a chance to get his side of the story across, so both himself and the squad could move on, Robertson says.

"I've looked him in the eye and given him a cuddle as well. It's been tough for him, because he genuinely feels like he hasn’t done anything.

"He feels like there was no suggestion of anything at any time that was untoward."


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