Speculation about the All Blacks being deliberately poisoned beore the 1995 World Cup final in South Africa should be put to rest, Kamo Kid Ian Jones said.
The former All Black lock, who played in the final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, said the country and conspiracy theorists should instead focus on the fact the men in black have won the Webb Ellis Cup twice since 1995. He made the comments after former top South African police commander involved with All Blacks security at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Rory Steyn, said the ABs were deliberately poisoned before the final against the Springboks. The chief bodyguard to President Nelson Mandela believes betting syndicates were behind the poisoning. The All Blacks lost the Johannesburg final 15-12.
Mr Steyn said there was a huge degree of paranoia within the All Blacks camp, which escalated after the semifinal win over England in Cape Town.
The team travelled back to Johannesburg and it was decided among management that they would eat separately to the rest of their hotel's guests in the week leading up to the final. Mr Steyn is in New Zealand for TedxAuckland, to talk about his time as Mandela's chief bodyguard.
But Jones said he has no evidence to back up claims made by Mr Steyn. "I don't think there was any doubt the guys were sick but who did it, I don't know and I don't want to speculate," he said. "It was so long ago that I honestly haven't given it much thought. There is speculation but, like I said, I don't know and I don't have any evidence."
Mr Steyn said he didn't think anyone involved with South African rugby played a part in the poisoning but that money and betting syndicates were behind it. Team doctor Mike Bowen reportedly suspected foul play.