New plane sent for Springboks

2011-07-16 11:05

The Springbok team will now leave on the away leg of their Castle Tri-Nations tour at 11.15pm tonight on a specially arranged Qantas flight it was announced today.

The team is scheduled to arrive in Sydney just after 7pm (local time) tomorrow – 31 hours later than originally scheduled – after the team’s flight yesterday was forced to return to Johannesburg after suffering an engine failure.

“There has obviously been some disruption but we are on top of it and have made the necessary adjustments to our planning,” said Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.

“We had timed our departure with a view to managing the effects of jet lag and have had to re-examine those plans. We’ve looked at the programme and it has had an effect, but we will manage it.

“Obviously there were a few stressful moments but we have given the players a free day to relax before we get back together this evening.”

The team spent the night at the Intercontinental Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport and were informed of the new arrangements at a team meeting this morning.

“Qantas have been very good,” said De Villiers.

“They kept us informed throughout the night and their general manager came through to the team meeting to explain the situation and answer any questions from the players.

“Things like this draw people closer together and hopefully that’ll be the effect on this team. But right now it’s all systems go and we’re looking forward to getting to Australia and preparing for a Test match.”

In a statement Qantas said a new aircraft had been dispatched to Johannesburg to accommodate passengers that were scheduled for Sydney.

All passengers were to receive their original seat numbers and the flight would carry the same flight number, QF64.

The new aircraft was scheduled to land in Johannesburg at 8pm today.

A relieved Bok captain John Smit, had this to say on the on the social networking site, Twitter:

“Ok so it looks like we heading out late this evening on a new plane sent from Oz by Qantas last night, sorted,” Smit posted this morning.

– Sport24

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