In an earlier post, we told you about SARU’s fantastic Champions Tour project that aims to show-case all the trophies that SA teams have won over the last couple of seasons (and ‘driven’ by 7′s Cappie, Mzwandile Stick). Of course our very own BlitzBokke’s IRB Sevens World Series Champions trophy is in there with the likes of the William Webb Ellis trophy, the Mandela Trophy and other silverware. I was watching Boots & All the other day and I think it was Bob Skinstad who called it the “Brag-Bus.” All we can say to that name is: Spot on Bru!
The Champions Tour is slowly winding its way through our lovely country and it’s very pleasing to see that our 15′s coach P-Divvy (Peter De Villiers) is solidly behind the venture and making a personal appearance all over the place. On the same Boots & All show (on KuduClub) I saw the official symbolic ‘handing-over’of the Bus to Bok 15′s coach De Villiers. I’m sure SARU’s president’s council held their collective breaths when the coach took the mic. In true Peter de Villiers style, the coach didn’t disappoint saying, in flawless English nogal:
“This is what you happens to you when you lose a tour, ladies and gentlemen… you become a BUS DRIVER!”
We smaak you coach! Keep’em coming!
Many Springbok rugby players, present and past are taking time off to speak to the thousands of fans (and after this… future fans). One such Bok is one Braam Van Straaten who, these days, spends his time as inn-keeper. Braam runs his own B&B in the Southern Cape.
Springbok Braam van Straaten joined the estimated 34 000 people to have visited the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) Champion Tour so far when it arrived in George on Day 13 of its 45-day odyssey across the length and breadth of South Africa.
Braam’s magic boot! Braam Van Straaten in action for the Bokke (Pic: scrum.com)
The 21-Test veteran, who scored 221 points for the Boks over four seasons, signed his name alongside that of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers on the Champion Tour’s honour wall when the vehicle pulled in to the Garden Route Mall on one of three stops in George on the day.
“This is an amazing collection of trophies, highlighting an incredible year,” said Van Straaten. “It really is special to see them all in one place.”
The Million (Zim) Dollar signature! Braam autographs the Champions Tour Bus (Pic: SARU)
Van Straaten’s sentiments were shared by the crowds who again flocked to see the collection of some of world rugby’s most significant silverware – as well as iconic South African rugby trophies such as the Absa Currie Cup.
That is just one of 12 trophies being showcased by SARU to share the sport’s success in 2009 with all South Africans. Also on display are trophies such as the Unity – for beating the British & Irish Lions – the Vodacom Tri-Nations trophy and the Mandela Challenge Plate and Freedom Cup.
Wednesday started at George South Primary School before a lunchtime halt at the Garden Route Mall where around 750 people took the chance to see close up the trophies claimed by John Smit and the Springboks in 2009 – as well as the Rugby World Cup.
The day concluded at the PW Botha College where 250 learners were on hand to cheer the vehicle onto the school’s field.
On Thursday, the Tour heads up the Garden Route, with a stop at the Knysna Waterfront from 09:00 – 11:00 before the journey through to Uitenhage for an evening at Rosedale Sports Ground (17:00 – 20:00), where touch rugby, a coaching clinic, a BokSmart Information Talk and other entertainment is planned, as well as appearances by players of the Mighty Elephants.
On Friday the Tour returns to a metropolitan area for the first time since it left Cape Town at the beginning of the month when it visits the Masiphathisane High School in Motherwell (14:00 – 18:00).
For more up-to-date information on the Champions Tour, visit sarugby.co.za