Springbok coach Peter de Villiers on Friday apologised for saying the job should be given back to the whites.

De Villiers, the first black person to guide the South African national senior rugby team, made the remark last week after a report linked him to an alleged sex blackmail threat.

A newspaper claimed De Villiers was told that a video showing him having sex with a woman in a car park would be released if an unnamed Springbok was dropped.

De Villiers, who replaced 2007 World Cup-winning coach Jake White this year, reacted by claiming the blackmail rumour was part of a “racist plot” and that he “would give his job back to the whites”.

The apology was carried in a South African Rugby Union (Saru) statement after he met president Oregan Hoskins in Durban.

Springbok media officer Chris Hewitt, the first person to tell the coach about the tape, has been suspended after a Saru probe found no evidence that it existed.

Although South Africa have won five of nine Tests under De Villiers, they managed only one success each against Australia and New Zealand when coming last in the Tri-Nations championship.