Kitshoff: Newlands farewell would be 'heart-breaking'

2018-06-21 14:29
Steven Kitshoff (Gallo)

Cape Town - If this is to be the final Test Newlands hosts, it will make for an emotional farewell for a number of Stormers players who are set to take part in the third and final Springbok Test against England on Saturday. 

There are three Stormers in the starting matchday XV - Frans Malherbe, Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit - while there are a further two on the bench in Steven Kitshoff and Sikhumbuzo Notshe. 

Then there are those who have fond memories of the ground, none more so than 37-year-old Schalk Brits, who started his professional career at Newlands all the way back in 2002 before relocating to Saracens. 

Elton Jantjies, who starts at No 10 on Saturday, also enjoyed a stint at the Stormers while Duane Vermeulen was a legend in the Cape. 

Those players aside, Newlands is one of the iconic venues of South African rugby and has been since the turn into the 20th century. 

But, with strong reports this week suggesting that this could be the last Test hosted at the venue before a move to the Cape Town Stadium, there is a lot of emotion suddenly injected into the fixture. 

The Boks have secured the series, but this one has all of a sudden become that much more important. 

"Growing up, it's always been a dream come true to play at Newlands," Kitshoff said.

"It's going to be a bit heart-breaking if it's the last international. I think the boys must just embrace the moment and enjoy it as much as we can. It goes by so fast.

"Embrace the fans, embrace the moment and just give it our all."

Du Toit, who has been a pillar of strength at Newlands since making the move from the Sharks in 2016, agreed with his team-mate. 

"It will be quite disappointing if it's the last Test at Newlands," he said.

"It's always a great atmosphere there and it has so much history. It will be disappointing, but it will be an honour as well to be part of that."

The Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) has not confirmed the reports as yet. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.


South Africa

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux


15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona 


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