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Rugby | Springboks

Wayde Van Niekerk © Gallo Images

Wayde inspires Boks

It’s not often that the Springbok wingers are outclassed in their own environment, but on Friday they were like schoolkids clamouring for photos with World 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk, who handed them their jerseys ahead of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Australia in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

Van Niekerk addressed the Boks, then posed for almost a half hour as players snapped selfies with the Olympic champion, who lives in Bloemfontein.

Van Niekerk joined the team in the official photo before endorsing not only their hope of bouncing back from the All Black defeat but also the Rugby World Cup 2023 bid.

“It’s a massive honour. The Springboks have been our pride and joy from day one, and it’s a massive honour for me to be part of the mix, and to be able to rub shoulders with the great sportspeople of South Africa. For me it is a great opportunity and I’m excited for this weekend,” Van Niekerk said.

Asked what he told the Boks, Van Niekerk had a simple message.

“It was just basic. Everyone knows I’m a firm believer in the Lord and that is where we seek our strength from and where we seek our determination from first and I just want them to go out and dominate this weekend. We need to make a big bounce back this weekend and I think the guys are ready. I will be there, supporting the guys and I’m positive about this weekend.”

Van Niekerk will be attending his second test match and will be supporting the Boks. He also explained that he supports the 2023 World Cup bid as it would be positive for the country.

Van Niekerk’s coach Tannie Ans Botha will be honoured by SA Rugby as she becomes the flag-bearer for the team before the Wallabies game in recognition of her work in training Van Nierkerk.


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