Springbok captains gather in Cape Town

By Drum Digital
25 March 2013

Current captain Jean de Villiers will join the oldest living Springbok skipper, 83-year-old Des van Jaarsveldt, and 40 others in Cape Town on Wednesday, to mark the countdown to the opening of a new rugby museum.

The group of 42 national team captains -- including Gary Teichman, Bob Skinstad and Joost van der Westhuizen -- from South African rugby's diverse history would gather to capture their handprints in special moulds in a public ceremony, the SA Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed on Monday.

The moulds would later be cast into bronze and installed as part of the new Springbok Experience museum, which is due to open at the Waterfront in September.

"We have had a tremendous response from the captains for what will be a once-in-a-lifetime event," said Saru president Oregan Hoskins.

"The Springbok Experience will tell their story, and of the teams they captained.

"By capturing their handprints for posterity we will have a permanent record that those players passed this way, one that rugby followers can literally touch.

"It will be a very special occasion, to have more than 40 national captains assembled in one place, and one that will never be repeated."

Austen van Heerden, the oldest living captain of the former SA Coloured Rugby Football Board -- who led the team in 1961 -- would be in attendance, as well as Bomza Nkhola, the oldest surviving captain of the SA African Rugby Board.

Saru said the Experience would tell the story of rugby in South Africa from the 1860s, as well as the 'traditional' Springbok story, including that of black rugby players and administrators.

-by Sapa

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