Boks gear up for post-World Cup festivities back home — here’s your guide to the trophy tour
The Springbok trophy tour will start on Thursday in Gauteng’s cities, before moving to three other major cities in South Africa.
The job is done. Now it’s time to celebrate. The world-champion Springbok rugby team will embark on a four-day trophy tour to major regional cities from Thursday, SA Rugby announced on Sunday.
The team attended the gala World Rugby Awards ceremony in Paris on Sunday night before departing France for South Africa on Monday morning.
The Boks arrive at OR Tambo International Airport at 10.55am on Tuesday and will begin the tour 48 hours later. It will start in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto – concluding at FNB Stadium – on Thursday, 2 November.
According to the Gautrain Management Agency, Gautrain will offer free-of-charge travel to Springbok supporters travelling to and from OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday, 31 October 2023, from 10am to 3pm only. The free train service is only available from Park, Sandton, Midrand and Pretoria stations for persons wearing Springbok or South African colours without luggage.
“As the Gautrain, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the celebrations and play our part by transporting Bokke supporters. The Springboks deserve a rousing South African welcome, we are bursting with pride,” said Gautrain Management Agency Chief Executive Officer Designate Tshepo Kgobe.
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The team will then be in Cape Town (Friday, 3 November) and Durban (Saturday, 4 November) before concluding in the Eastern Cape (East London) on Sunday, 5 November.
The locations have been selected for population size in the first three instances and because of the Eastern Cape’s rugby significance in the fourth.
Satellite tours to Bloemfontein, Nelson Mandela Bay and other cities will be scheduled for 2024.
‘For our fans’
“This is for our fans and for South Africa,” said head coach Jacques Nienaber after the 12-11 victory on Saturday evening.
“I wish I could show you the amount of messages and videos of what was going on in South Africa. There were 62 million people that united behind us.
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“The farming communities opening up to allow people to watch, paying an entrance fee of whatever they wanted to donate. People have bought green T-shirts for everyone. We felt every single bit of energy they gave us and in the last three games, all one-point victories, that drove us and we needed it.”
Two-time World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi said there was more expectation on his side this time around compared with Japan in 2019.
“At the last World Cup the country was hopeful that maybe there was a chance we could win it and what transpired afterwards was the belief between this team.
“There are not a lot of things going right in our country and we have the privilege to be able to do what we love and inspire people in life, not just sports people.
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“There’s no way, where I come from, that I could have dreamed of being here today. I couldn’t even dream I could be here today. We come from different walks of life. I had my own goals and ambitions.
“I want to look after my family, I want to give back to my community because without them I wouldn’t be here. But once we come together for a common goal nothing can stop us.
“What brings us together is our country. What brings us together is the Springbok and South Africa and what drives us. I can’t explain it to you, you need to come and see South Africa to understand. Once we come together nothing can stop us, not just in sport but also in life.” DM