Rugby: Springboks star Elton Jantjies sent home following reports of affair with team dietitian

South Africa’s Elton Jantjies. Photo / AP

Springboks star Elton Jantjies has been sent home from the South African squad in Argentina following local reports he was having an alleged affair with the team dietitian.

The 32-year-old and team dietitian Zeenat Simje have both left the squad returning to South Africa ahead of Sunday’s Rugby Championship clash against Argentina.

South African publication Rapport had earlier reported the two were involved in an affair on the eve of the opening Rugby Championship test against the All Blacks last month.

“The Springbok management are aware of reports regarding Springbok fly-half Elton Jantjies and team dietitian Zeenat Simjee between the training camp in Sabie and the test match against New Zealand in Mbombela earlier this year,” a team statement said.

“No team protocols were breached, but the individuals are returning to South Africa to attend to these personal reports and to eliminate any distractions to the team’s preparations for the test against Argentina.”

Jantjies is married.

Earlier this year he was charged with malicious damage to property and contravening aviation laws after allegedly breaking a TV screen and swearing at fellow passengers and crew members on a flight home from a holiday in Turkey, prosecutors said.

The World Cup winner was arrested in May when his flight landed at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. The charges were later withdrawn after he agreed to pay for the damage.

Jantjies was acting in an unruly manner on the flight, prosecution spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane said at the time. He was arrested when the plane landed after crew members complained about his behavior of him.

During the flight, Jantjies was ordered back to his seat in the business class area after breaking a glass that cut his hand, Mjonondwane said. He is then said to have damaged the TV and a light.

Jantjies was a member of the Springboks’ victorious Rugby World Cup squad in Japan in 2019, when he was backup flyhalf to HandrĂ© Pollard.

His agent, James Adams, said in a statement that a light was broken on the aircraft but the incident on the Emirates flight from Dubai to Johannesburg had been unnecessarily “heightened”.

“Our client, however, remains compliant with the investigation process,” Adams said.

Jantjies had been on a weeklong holiday with his family. He was flying home alone while they remained in Turkey, Adams said.