Zuma gives Boks his blessing

2011-08-29 09:21

President Jacob Zuma today gave the Springbok team his blessing as they made their final preparations for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Zuma quipped that the team would not be allowed back into the country if they did not win the trophy, to which Springbok skipper, John Smit, replied that his men would die in their boots for their country if needed.

“Bring the trophy back to Mzansi. That is your national duty,” Zuma said.

“You must know as you go that each and every South African is with you and that must give you strength and courage to do your best. You are our warriors. The entire 50 million citizens will be behind you.”

Zuma stood in awe of the big players as Springbok coach Peter de Villiers presented the side to him and after making mention of their size, he wished them well.

He also reflected on the positive contributions sport has made to the country since the first beacon was set at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.
“We extend good wishes to the whole team, to captain Smit, coach De Villiers and the management. We believe you will win the battles and win the war.
“Go out there and make us proud.”

The Springboks depart for New Zealand on Thursday with their opening match of the tournament taking place on September 11, against Wales in Wellington.

As was the case prior to the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the team will be involved in a parade prior to their departure set to take place in Sandton.

The Springboks will march from Nelson Mandela Square to the Sandton Gautrain Station where they will say their final goodbyes.

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