Rugby World Cup 2011

Boks receive warm welcome

2011-10-10 17:29
Bok fans (File)

Johannesburg - Springbok rugby fans erupted in cheers and shouts of support as the team walked through the arrivals gate at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday.

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The players - dressed in their green and gold blazers - were welcomed with people shouting "We love you bokke" as they disembarked just before 17:00.

Earlier, there was excitement and anticipation as people turned up in droves ahead of the arrival of the team.

The Boks were eliminated from the World Rugby Cup in New Zealand when they lost to Australia on Sunday.

There were a few curious people unaware of the event.

But most were wearing rugby shirts and waving flags and banners which read: "Thank you Boks", "Welcome home Boks", "Well done" and "our blood is green".

Former foreign minister Pik Botha was also waiting outside the arrivals gate.

"I'm here to support the team. They have been very good ambassadors and they have nurtured the concept of getting South Africans together," he said.

"It is common purpose and we need each other. South Africa needs to renew the spirit which [Nelson] Mandela left us, it’s part to the legacy. We are proud of you."

Clad in a Blue Bulls shirt, Chantelle Erasmus, 16, and her younger sister Toinette said they had rushed to the airport straight after school.

They said despite the loss they supported the Boks "no matter what" and would always be fans.

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