The South African rugby team caused a ruckus when a ticking clock and a fancy dress burqa players took on tour to Wales sparked a hotel bomb scare.
The Hilton Cardiff was evacuated on Friday after the offending clock was located in a player’s laundry. The discovery of the burka in the luggage of Springbok centre Jesse Kriel aroused further suspicion.
The incident happened on the eve of the Springboks’ 20-11 defeat to Wales, with the hotel saying “a suspicious package” was found by a member of the housekeeping team in a player’s room.
It was discovered while the team were training at the Principality Stadium ahead of Saturday’s test match, prompting officers to travel to the stadium to speak to members of Rassie Erasmus’ team.
After guests were evacuated, three South African players including Kriel were called back so their rooms could be searched. All three players and the South Africa squad were warned by police but escaped penalty.
After the game, coach Rassie Erasmus conceded: “We didn’t have the best preparation and we had a couple of pre-match blows with injuries, but we can’t use them as excuses.”
A Hilton Hotel statement read: “At 2pm on Friday, November 23, there was an incident where our housekeeping team discovered a suspicious package in one of the bedrooms.
“She notified hotel management and, as per our protocol, we evacuated bedrooms above and below the floor in question and contacted the police immediately.
“They investigated promptly and, fortunately, quickly gave the all-clear.
“Our guests’ safety is naturally of paramount importance, but we are sorry for any inconvenience, and we’re grateful to South Wales Police for their swift response.”
In a statement, South Wales Police said: “Officers were called to reports of a suspicious item at the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff city centre shortly after 2.15pm on Friday, November 23.
“After initial investigation work was carried out, it was established the item was not suspicious.”
Kriel apparently intended to wear the burka on a night out in Cardiff.