Rugby Championship

Wayde van Niekerk inspires the Springboks

2017-09-29 20:23
Allister Coetzee, Wayde van Niekerk, Elton Jantjies (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South African athletics star Wayde van Niekerk presented the Springboks with their match day jerseys on the eve of their Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.

READ: Wayde, 'Tannie Ans' honoured by Springboks

Van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder and Olympic champion, delivered a short and inspirational message to the team on Friday morning.

"We as sportspeople sometimes don't realise the impact we have on ordinary people," the soft spoken athletics star said afterwards.

"South Africans are sports loving people and they look to the Springboks for inspiration. I am a huge Springbok fan myself and to find myself among these guys in the middle of the Springbok team room was just an unbelievable and humbling experience.

"My short message to them was to go out there and play the game to the best of their ability - they have done their homework and they know what to do," said Van Niekerk.

His coach, Tannie Ans Botha has the honour of being the SA flag bearer on Saturday.

Eben Etzebeth will again lead the Springboks on Saturday and said the Boks were absolutely delighted to spend some time with Van Niekerk.

"Wayde is an inspiration for us and he is such a humble person. So to receive our match jerseys from him was a huge honour and privilege," said Etzebeth.

Van Niekerk, who lives in Bloemfontein where he completed his high school career, was also included in the traditional Springbok team photograph after the customary jersey presentation ceremony.

Kicks off is at 17h05.

Photo: Gallo/SA Rugby

Teams:

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6, Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes (from): 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lukhan Tui, 21 Ned Hanigan, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Samu Kerevi, 24 Henry Speight

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