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Boks sorry for fan ‘snub’

2015-09-14 09:01
Jean de Villiers (AP)

Cape Town - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has apologised for the team not being able to greet Springbok fans at Heathrow airport in London.

The Boks arrived in England on Saturday morning and were warmly welcomed by a delegation led by the South African High Commissioner to the UK, HE Obed Mlaba, as well as representatives from the Rugby World Cup, in the Royal Suite at the airport.

However, they were not able to greet the South African supporters who came to Heathrow to welcome the team.

“We are aware there were a lot of supporters waiting for us at Heathrow, but unfortunately the organisers took us via an alternative exit to avert the queues at customs and we did not get to see them. We’re very sorry about it but it was not in our hands,” said De Villiers.

The Boks then set off on a two-hour journey by bus to Eastbourne, where they will be based for the first week of the tournament.

“Most of the talk of the last year centred around the Rugby World Cup, so it is great to finally be here,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“We’ve been working incredibly hard for this and I can see the players are ready. They’ve spent the last month sweating on the training field and in the gym and can’t wait to get going.

“The pressure will be on us from the first match and every single Test will pose different challenges. Having said that, the focus will be on what we want to achieve from our four pool matches.

“We’ve mixed up our play a bit earlier this year but a World Cup is different to the Rugby Championship. Decision-making will be key and although we want to score tries and play attractive rugby, the conditions could dictate a more tactical approach, while we must also not stray from our main strengths.”

The Boks open their RWC campaign against Japan in Brighton on Saturday.



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