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- Rookies Conradie and Spacey chase hard at Ruimsig
- ASA launches new four-meeting track and field series
- Ellis: ‘We never gave up and kept playing and fighting’
- Garlicki keen to get going on home turf
- Blitzbok speedsters gearing up for Wellington action
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- Birkett and Solms wrap up Drak Challenge wins
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Blitzboks hand out jerseys for SA’s key Test clash
- Updated: October 4, 2014
The Springboks and Springbok Sevens teams came together in a unique way on Friday as the Blitzboks handed out the Test jerseys before Saturday’s final match in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship against New Zealand at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
The Springbok Sevens team are on their way to Australia, where they will play in the opening tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series, at the Gold Coast, next weekend.
Blitzboks captain Kyle Brown, who recently led South Africa to the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland but will miss the trip to Australia because of injury, thanked the Springboks for the opportunity to hand out their Test jerseys.
‘It’s a massive honour and privilege for us to be here and it really means a lot to us,’ said Brown.
‘As far as the Test against New Zealand goes, I always tell our guys just to go out there, respect every minute of the match, appreciate your time on the field and really enjoy the moment.
‘We’re really looking forward to seeing you guys do your thing out on the field – make it a special occasion.’
The tournament in Australia will be the Blitzboks’ first tournament since winning the gold medal in Scotland in July. Two current members of the Springbok squad, Cornal Hendricks and Warren Whiteley, were part of the Commonwealth Games squad in Glasgow.
Hendricks will start on the right wing against New Zealand while Whiteley has been bracketed as possible replacement should Duane Vermeulen not be passed fit for the match. A final call on the bruising Springbok No 8’s involvement will only be made on Saturday.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, himself a former sevens international, wished Brown and his team well for the forthcoming season and thanked them for the inspirational message.
‘We love watching you play and we’ll be cheering you on from Australia all the way through to the final tournament in England next year,’ said De Villiers.
‘You have made South Africa very proud with your performances over the last couple of years and winning that gold medal in Scotland was just reward for all the months of very hard work you put in, mostly away from the public eye.
‘As true ambassadors for our country, we’re all very proud of you and we know you can make that step up to win the series again this season.’