President Thabo Mbeki has urged the Springboks to forget about political criticism and focus on winning the World Cup.
The build up to South Africa’s fourth World Cup campaign has seen an outcry by politicians who believe the current squad is still not sufficiently representative of this country. South African Rugby Union chief Regan Hoskins also stated six players of colour in a group of 30 is a ratio that will not be accepted come the global tournament in 2011.
But the South African president told them to put all of this aside and bring home the trophy. He also encouraged them to keep any local temptations at arm’s length.
“While you are away forget all of these controversies that we always raise as politicians, don’t worry about those ones, just play the rugby.
“If they [the French] want to invite you out, and want to give you wine and feed you frog legs, say no thank you, let’s stick to pap and vleis [maize porridge and meat], so that we make sure they don’t do funny things,” Mbeki said.
The Boks will play their first Pool A match this Sunday against Samoa.