Boks storm Gugulethu

2016-06-02 06:00
Springbok players Lionel Mapoe, Patrick Lambie, Bongi Mbonambi and Jess Kriel visited the township braaimaster Mzoli Ngcauzele at his popular eatery in Gugulethu promoting the #LoveRugby campaign on Sunday. PHOTO:

Springbok players Lionel Mapoe, Patrick Lambie, Bongi Mbonambi and Jess Kriel visited the township braaimaster Mzoli Ngcauzele at his popular eatery in Gugulethu promoting the #LoveRugby campaign on Sunday. PHOTO:

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Sprinbok rugby coach Allister Coetzee took some of his freshly assembled squad members to the heart of Visionland where they were welcomed by Kasi braaimaster king Mzoli Ngcauzele at his popular shisanyama in Gugulethu on Sunday.

This was part of the #LoveRugby campaign, Coezee’s brainchild of taking rugby into the communities.

Just hours after Coetzee announced his Springbok team for the incoming Ireland tour on Saturday, the Bokke literally hit the road running.

The 31-man squad was split into teams of four and sent to different venues in Cape Town, including a gym, SmileFM and Mzoli’s in Gugulethu.

The aim was for the players to use social media and the hashtag #LoveRugby to hitch a ride with Capetonians from Cape Town International Airport to their various destinations.

When players Lionel Mapoe, Jesse Kriel, Bongi Mbonambi and Patrick Lambie arrived at Mzolis, they were received with applause and admiration.

Lionel Mapoe said they were overwhelmed when fans literally scrummed for selfies and autographs.

“I was pleased with the response we got in Gugulethu and I hope our visit will encourage all South Africans to embrace the team and support the coach,” Mapoe.

Bongi Mbonambi said it was uplifting to mingle and interact with the fans.

“We appreciate the support shown to us today and we hope our presence here will make people continue supporting the team,” said Mbonambi.

Patrick Lambie said with the campaign they “hope to revive and regain the love of sport amongst South Africans.”

The four players then got their hands dirty helping Mzoli’s kitchen staff braai some meat before enjoying their own pieces.

Rugby Tradition After their task was done, the players were then handed their second envelope which stated they now needed to make their own way to Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) -their training base for this week.

Coetzee said despite the “sore and stiff” bodies from the previous day’s Super Rugby derbies, the players embraced the unique ‘welcoming’ ceremony.

“With the plan we had for the day, and what I seeing there is quite a hype and a buzz around, it seems the players enjoyed the way they assembled at SAS and the project[s] they had to compete,” Coetzee told a media briefing at SAS.

Mzoli Ngcauzele said he was happy that the Bokke chose to visit his place.

“We have a strong rugby tradition in the townships and the moment these players arrived in Gugulethu, you could see that the people were excited,” he said.

Ngcawuzele further congratulated Nyanga’s and Stormers flanker Sikhumbuzo Notshe who was selected into the Bok squad by Cotzee (See Page 16).

“He is an amazing player and knowing Cotzee’ belief in grooming youngsters I am sure he will thrive in the game.

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