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Gained new respect last night for the 31 young men carrying South Africa’s hopes into the Rugby World Cup which kicks off tonight. Partly because of the polished contribution from winning 2007 RWC captain John Smit, a wonderful ambassador for the country. Also thanks to insights from former CEO of SA Rugby, Edward Griffiths, at the event he hosted for ICAEW, the UK equivalent of SAICA.
Griffiths, who stepped down as the CEO of the Saracens Rugby club in March, says walking into the change room after a test match helps one appreciate the sacrifice players make for their country: “It looks like a room full of survivors from a voluntary car crash.”
Springboks most of all. Asked who he liked playing against least, England rugby hero Neil Back said it was the burly South Africans: “They are easily the most physical – I played against the Springboks eight times and bled in every one of those games.”
South African rugby players have a reputation for giving every ounce they have, for wearing their hearts on their sleeves. You can be sure over the next few weeks Jean de Villiers and his team will be doing it all again in the national cause. They deserve the country’s full support. Let’s not allow a cretinous little race-obsessed politician to spoil that.
From Biznews community member Janet Worthington
Well said Alec. Those men have worked their hearts out and deserve to be there. If the minister doesn’t like it, I suggest he concentrate his energies on providing sporting facilities at grass root level. Why these morons concern themselves with the 9% minority instead of making the majority world beaters is beyond me. You can bet your life the cretins you refer to will fly to every match in First Class, stay in 5 star hotels and sit in VIP seats. We could do with a few Donald Trumps, men with balls and backbone.
From Biznews community member Michael Pampallis
This is nonsense. These guys really do not make sacrifices for their country. They are very talented young men playing a game they presumably love for which they get paid a lot of money. Rugby is tough and players get hurt but they risk injury by playing hard only because if they don’t they won’t be chosen to play the following week. When they win, those who care about rugby, like I do, feel happy – sadly this soon passes. The millions who don’t care, don’t give a toss. People who make sacrifices for their country do things like serve others, go to jail or risk their lives and sometimes die for noble causes. Playing a rugby game for one’s country is a privilege, it is not a sacrifice of any kind, no matter how sore one feels after the game!
And, by the way, if I ever again hear a rugby player or commentator use that hackneyed expression that the Springboks are carrying the “hopes of the nation” on their shoulders, I think I’ll vomit.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.