Cape Town - One of South Africa’s top sportsmen, athletics star Wayde van Niekerk, was on Friday confirmed as the final player in the Celebrity TAG match, which will be a curtain-raiser to Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Newlands.
Van Niekerk, the current 400m world record holder who is also the South African flag bearer at the Test, will play in the Aden Thomas All Stars team against the Carl Wastie Invitational side.
Supporters are encouraged to enter Newlands early - gates open at 14:00 - as Van Niekerk and the other celebrities will be in action at 15:00.
The reigning Olympic and world champion in the 400m will in all likelihood provide some much needed pace out wide for Thomas’ side. His other team-mates are Blitzboks coach Neil Powell, Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy, Springbok Women’s Sevens player Phumeza Gadu, junior high jump world champion Breyton Poole, and comedian Kurt Schoonraad.
“This is a massive coup for us to have Wayde in my team he’ll help us set Newlands and the world alight tomorrow afternoon,” said Thomas, of Heart FM.
“Neil is a world champion player and coach, and Breyton is also a world champion, so there is no doubt in my mind who is going to emerge victorious from this clash.”
Opposing them will be Wastie’s warriors, with former Blitzbok captain Paul Delport and current Springbok Women’s Sevens Nomsa Mokwai providing the rugby acumen, along with former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy, artist Chad Saaiman and comedians Nik Rabinowitz and Siv Ngesi.
“We’re expecting Aden’s team - especially Wayde and Breyton - to try and beat us on the outside or go over us, but we’ll be ready for them,” said KFM’s Wastie on Friday.
“This is no laughing matter, just because we have Nik and Siv in our side. And I know Benni will try and push his way through the middle, but Paul and Nomsa have shared some great plans with us for the game. We can’t wait!”
The Test between South Africa and New Zealand kick off at 17:05.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili