Boks mark heritage day in NZ

2011-09-24 13:51

Cape Town - The Springboks celebrated Heritage Day in traditional South African style with a team braai at their Taupo training base in New Zealand - albeit a few hours early on Friday evening.

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The team broke away from the normal dietary plan to take charge of the menu themselves, braaiing steak, chops and boerewors at one of the restaurants at their team hotel.

Players and management picked up the tongs after arriving from Auckland, following the 87-0 victory over Namibia in a Pool D Rugby World Cup 2011 clash.

“We didn’t want to miss out on Heritage Day,” said Springbok coach Peter de Villiers. “We brought a taste of South Africa to New Zealand to make us all feel closer to home.

“The guys really enjoyed being able to braai for themselves and mark Heritage Day in a South African way.”

The special evening marked the beginning of two days away from the training field for the players.

“The players are bruised and battered and it has been mentally draining over the past few weeks to get to where we are now,” said De Villiers.

“It was the right time to give them some breathing space to unwind so that when we get back together on Sunday evening everyone is focused on the next stage of the competition.”

The Springboks complete their Pool D programme against Samoa in Auckland on Friday.