This one’s Spiesiaal

SA U21 star Pierre Spies has dedicated his inclusion into the Springbok squad to his late father.

While it is always a great occasion when a young man becomes a Springbok, the inclusion of the ultra-talented Spies in Jake White’s Bok squad is extra special.

Pierre Spies snr was a try-scoring machine for Northern Transvaal (now the Blue Bulls) in the 1970′s, scoring a phenomenal 59 tries in 45 matches. He never got the Bok call-up many believe he deserved. And in October 2004 he passed away suddenly at the age of 53.

Now 29 years after hanging up his boots and nearly two years after his shock death, Spies snr is smiling, says his son. “I know he would have loved to have been a Springbok and he would have loved even more to be alive today to share this with me,” Spies jnr told keo.co.za moments after hearing of his inclusion on Wednesday.

“I know he is watching me and I have done this for him, but thanks to God for blessing me with the talent,” a still shell-shocked Spies said.

“Since we landed yesterday it has been chaos. When we were in France (with the Baby Boks) we never heard anything as we stayed away from media distractions, but since we arrived home it has hit us hard.”

Spies was having a few niggles checked out by Blue Bulls Dr Tommie Smook, when the email came through on the doctor’s computer around lunch-time on Wednesday. “He broke the news to me and I’m still trying to get my head around it. It’s very exciting.”

Spies was joined by fellow new caps Chiliboy Ralepelle, JP Pietersen and Akona Ndungane in a new-look 28-man squad for the away leg of the Vodacom Tri-Nations. The squad depart next Thursday.

By Andrew Hollely