NSW Waratah’s Jacques Potgieter has personally apologised and expressed remorse over his homophobic slurs during last Sunday’s match against the ACT Brumbies by attending a training session with the Sydney Convicts gay rugby union team this week.

Potgieter, who has had half of his fine suspended, will pay $10,000 and receive educational and awareness training after David Pocock complained to the referee about a player who used the term “faggot” to sledge opposing players.

After the fine was announced, Convicts president Robert McPherson invited Potgieter to come down to meet the team and hear their stories.

“He would quickly recognise that being gay has no impact on a person’s ability to play rugby or their passion for the game,” McPherson said.

Potgieter followed through by showing up to a training session to meet the Convicts on Thursday night.

“It was fantastic meeting Jacques last night, he showed up unexpectedly and did so off his own back… No one at the club knew he was coming, so it was a nice surprise,” McPherson said on Friday.

“He had a chat with the guys, apologised for his choice of words, gave some rugby tips, shared some jokes and even took the time to speak one-on-one with few of the guys.”

When the fine was announced, Potgieter publicly apologised and expressed his remorse over remarks he made during a “heated encounter” in Sunday’s game.

“It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me,” he said in a statement circulated by the NSW Waratahs.

McPherson said the training session was a great way to end the incident and send a strong message to those who consider using homophobic language.

“The guys really enjoyed meeting [Potgieter], it definitely wasn’t easy [for] Jacques and the guys recognise this and appreciate the effort he made,” he said.

Great meeting the boys from @sydneyconvicts! Happy for the opportunity to apologize in person. Backing you guys 100%!

A photo posted by Jacques Potgieter (@jacquespotgieter7) on

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