Rugby Championship

Amla hands out Bok jerseys

2015-08-07 16:42
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Hashim Amla, captain of the Proteas, inspired the Springboks on the eve of their final Test on home soil for 2015, in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup, when he handed out the jerseys for the match against Argentina on Saturday.

Amla, who boasts batting averages of more than 50 in both Test and ODI cricket and is ranked in the top-four in the world in both forms of cricket, wished the Springboks well for their next two Tests before the team departs for England next month.

“My blood is green and so is everyone else’s in the Protea team,” said Amla.

“We know exactly how hard and tough the world of international sport is – we know how it goes when you do well and when you lose. My Protea team-mates are extremely envious of me for being able to spend time with you.

“But I’d like to let you know that we’re behind you 100% and we’d like to wish you well for the rest of the season. You guys play for the best rugby team in the world and you inspire the Protea fire.”

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers thanked Amla for his time and the kind words and presented him with a signed Springbok jersey.

De Villiers, who will lead the Boks again for the first time since his serious knee injury in November 2014,

“It was here in Umhlanga that I addressed a press conference as Springbok captain for the first time in 2012 and being back here is truly special,” said De Villiers.

“Wearing the Bok jersey is always special, as everyone keeps saying. It’s been a long road back for me but by making it to this point I think I’ve proved what can be achieved by hard work.”

De Villiers added that the players in the Springbok squad will want to use their opportunities in the coming weeks to push for inclusion in the Rugby World Cup squad.

“The competition for places is good and it is something that excites me ahead of the World Cup,” said the Springbok captain.

“No-one can afford to relax. Every player has to make use of every playing opportunity. If you don’t, you won’t make it. We have a really exciting backline and an exciting team as a whole.

“There are obviously areas we need to improve. There have been a few lapses in concentration over the past few weeks that have cost us. Ideally we need to get confidence in this game, we need to get confidence in the way we play and the way we approach it.

“But we want to focus on what we want to do and forget results of the previous two games and rather focus on the positives that came out of them. There are no warm-up games before the World Cup so we need to get it right now.”

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