SA Rugby Legends to 'Play for Paris'

Cape Town - In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Paris, the SA Rugby Legends Association have joined forces with the large Gauteng-based French community to honour those fallen and to help raise funds to assist the families who lost loved ones in the attacks.

On Saturday, November 28, the Legends will do just that by playing a special match against the French community, comprising Frenchmen who have played rugby at various levels.

The event will take place at the French International School - Lycee Francais Jules Verne - in Morningside from 12:00, with the match starting at 14:00.

“France, and more especially, Paris, holds very special memories for South African rugby players and supporters alike”, said CEO of SARLA Stefan Terblanche, “and the rugby connection between the two countries is very strong”. 

“So when we were asked to assist the Johannesburg based French community in this way, we jumped at it, also as our way to show solidarity for the families and people of Paris”.

Co-ordinating the event is Olivier Meyer, a former French international rugby player and heavyweight boxing champion, who believes that by bringing people together through sport, it gives everyone an opportunity to show their support for the cause.

“Nelson Mandela said that sport had the ability to unite a nation, we’re proving this Saturday that sport can also unite the world”, he said. 

“We are most grateful to the SA Rugby Legends for pooling their resources and rugby connections to put together a team for this worthy cause. We are also grateful to the school for making their facility available for this game”. 

The event also has the support of the French ambassador to South Africa, Elisabeth Barbier, who will be in attendance.

The Legends team is still being finalised, but those who have confirmed to join Stefan Terblanche on the field will be former Italian international Wim Visser and former Lions players Doppies le Grange, Henno Mentz, Jonathan Mokuena and Ethienne Reynecke. They will be coached by legendary former Bok and Sharks coach Ian McIntosh and managed by Bok legend Ray Mordt.

“Legends matches are always a spectacle to watch,” said Terblanche, “for many it’s an opportunity to see some of the “old guys” back on the park and many of the guys still have a lot in the tank and can still pull off some great moves”.

Entrance is free and spectators will be invited to join the teams afterwards for refreshments, provided by the Lycee Francaise Jules Verne. The school situated on the corner of Bauhinia Street and Cestrum Avenue in Morningside, Ext 40.

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