Springboks: Kodwa understands

2011-08-29 13:39

Presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has a good idea of what will be expected from the Springboks as they prepare for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

In a room where John Smit had an “h” in his surname and All Black legend Jonah Lomu was merely referred to as “that big guy who carried everyone over the line”, Kodwa drew a comparison today between his schoolboy rugby days and the task the Boks face.

He spoke of a humiliating rugby defeat he suffered as a 13-year-old and how he, and his team, had to apologise in front of the rest of the school.

After the loss his team showed improvement in their following match, but still came up short on the second day of the competition – only going down 16-6.

Now, a spokesperson who is not exactly built for the physical game, Kodwa said he was even “thinner” back then – and eventually admitted that the responsibility that rested on his junior team was but a drop in the bucket when compared to the nation’s expectations of the national team.

Prior to Peter de Villiers presenting to him his men who would do battle at the world spectacle, Kodwa introduced the Bok coach as a professor.

De Villiers responded by telling the various important figures that they were the men who would be carrying the county’s hopes on their shoulders.

As was expected, war was a strong theme during the press conference at the presidential guest house, where the younger Boks in the squad came to realise their responsibility towards their fans.

And, staying true to South African culture, humour simply had to be introduced at some stage.

On this occasion, it was not the Bok mentor who caused a few chuckles, but Springbok centre Jean de Villiers who brought a broad smile to South African president Jacob Zuma’s face.

While shaking the player’s hand, Zuma asked him whether he was related to a former minister who had the same surname.

The centre, known for his ability to think on his feet in the heat of battle, replied that he did not know of a minister in his family and the only relative of his in the room was his coach – Peter de Villiers.

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