Rugby: Former SA Rugby boss has no sympathy for 'poisoned' All Blacks before 1995 World Cup final

James Small and Jonah Lomu at the final whistle.
James Small and Jonah Lomu at the final whistle. Photo credit: Photosport

Former SA Rugby chief executive Ed Griffiths still has no sympathy for the poisoned All Blacks nearly 25 years on from their Rugby World Cup final defeat to South Africa.

Griffiths was at the helm when South Africa lifted the Willaim Webb Ellis trophy in Johannesburg, after they beat New Zealand 15-12 in the decider. 

A diarrhoea and vomiting bug swept through the ill-fated All Blacks two days before the final, meaning some key players missed the showpiece event while others battled through the match, inducing Andrew Mehrtens and Jeff Wilson.

New Zealand coach Laurie Mains blamed the hotel his team had been staying in, suspecting a waitress Suzie, who disappeared from the hotel before the game and the incident is still a hot topic in 2020. 

The players which fell most unwell apparently had seafood, and Griffiths  feels they only have themselves to blame. 

"Look, it's true that five or six of them did have a stomach upset and I remember seeing Marc Ellis vomiting on the side of the field, so it's certainly true," Griffiths said in an  interview with the RugbyPass website ahead of the 25th anniversary of the global tournament in South Africa.

"But all I would say on that is they ate seafood, sort of prawns, crayfish and stuff days before a World Cup final. I mean, most people would know that seafood is something that at the wrong time can give you food poisoning and clearly some of them seemed to have picked up food poisoning from that.

"There was all talk of this woman called Suzie from Southern Sun and there were all sorts of rumours about it. I remember Laurie Mains talking about it. But all I will say is that whatever they ate it was their choice to eat it. No one forced them to eat seafood days before the World Cup final."

Rugby: Former SA Rugby boss has no sympathy for 'poisoned' All Blacks before 1995 World Cup final
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