Morné Steyn, Damian de Allende (Christiaan Kotze / SASPA)
Cape Town- Eleven members of the Springboks squad on Wednesday got involved in three different local events to do their part for Eastbourne, their host city in the opening week of the Rugby World Cup.
Morné Steyn, Damian de Allende and Frans Malherbe visited the local St Wilfred’s Hospice where they distributed gifts to residents.
Eben Etzebeth and Willie le Roux surprised school children at a local sevens tournament when they arrived to show some support, pose for pictures and mingle with the kids.
Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Brits and Rudy Paige, accompanied by coaches Ricardo Loubscher, Pieter de Villiers, Louis Koen and Richie Gray were special guests at a Rugby Legacy Banquet hosted by Eastbourne College, the Springboks’ training base.
“We’ve been very well received by the people of Eastbourne and to get involved in these events is a small token of thanks from our side to the local people for their wonderful hospitality,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Ever since we arrived here on Saturday, we’ve been made to feel extremely welcome. Our official welcoming ceremony was such a special event and everywhere we’ve gone in the town the locals have embraced us.”The Springboks have a day off on Thursday and will take in the local sights and sounds before they get back into game mode on Friday with the captain’s run at the Brighton Community Stadium, where they kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against Japan on Saturday