Saturday’s Vodacom Tri-Nations Test will be a proud moment for Affies, who have three old boys in the Boks’ match 22.
Fourie du Preez, Wynand Olivier and Pierre Spies all attended the famous Pretoria high school, which is a stone’s throw away from Loftus Versveld. While Affies have dominated Gauteng schools rugby over the last decade, they haven’t seen many of their players represent the Bulls, let alone the Boks. That, however, seems to be changing.
Affies principal Pierre Edwards, himself a Springbok with two Tests to his name, was delighted when coach Jake White sent him a letter of congratulations this week.
â€œItâ€™s a unique achievement for the players, and they are very proud of their school and what it has done for them,â€ said White. â€œAs a team, we are thankful to schools such as Affies for producing such good players. We will support the players in every way we can.â€
Meanwhile, the Boks received a message of support from former president Nelson Mandela, who wished the team good luck for the game and said he was fully behind the Boks.
The team will be calling Madiba on Tuesday from New Zealand, as he celebrates his birthday.
Amongst the South Africans who will be supporting the Springboks tomorrow are Gerald Bosch, a Springbok in the 1970s with nine Tests to his name, and legendary Proteas fast-bowler, Allan Donald.
Bosch handed the players their jerseys this morning, and gave them a few words of encouragement, while Donald is in Australia with a touring South Africa cricket side.