Rugby fever running high among South Africans in London ahead of Rugby World Cup clash

By Hilda Van Dyk
23 October 2015

YOU's Hilda van Dyk is in London ahead of the Springbok vs All Blacks Rugby World Cup 2015 semifinal.

There’s a strong sense of Springbok-fever as you look around. You could be forgiven you’re in sunny SA – but in fact I’m in London yet there’s so much rugby gees going around! At Heathrow Airport Springbok supporters are easily identifiable by their green and gold gear. People are happy ahead of Boks’ clash with the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semifinal tomorrow and judging by the laughter are positive our boys are going to go all the way. Trafalgar Square, in the heart of the city, is also awash in green and gold.

People are happy ahead of Boks’ clash with the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semifinal

This square, a few hundred meters away from Buckingham-Palace, has been transformed into a fanzone. Here it’s all about the rugby not the royals. A big-screen TV is showing old matches, a “rugby field” where kids can play has been set up and a tent boasts an array of merchandise for purchase.

The fanzone is going to be pumping tomorrow. The fanzone is going to be pumping tomorrow.

I watch as the world cup flags flutter around me in their pink, blue and green glory. The host nation crashing out of the tournament has dampened the English appetite for the game. Many people stream past the fanzone – but one woman couldn’t resist stopping.

My red Coca-Cola shirt bearing the Rugby World Cup logo draws her attention. She openly checks out my backpack with the cup emblem and a Proudly South African keyring hanging on one side.

“You and I should actually not talk before next week,” she says, her New Zealand accent strong. “I am a Kiwi and tomorrow is going to be big. I don’t know if my heart is going to make it!”

Tell us about it, lady!

There's no shortage of merchandise for rugby fans. There's no shortage of merchandise for rugby fans.

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