Cape Town - A strong South African flavour helped Jake White's Toyota Verblitz team to glory in the Japanese Top League Cup final over the weekend.
Lock Carl Wegner, a former Cheetahs player, told Netwerk24 the fact that they could communicate in Afrikaans during matches proved advantageous.
"We could communicate more easily because we spoke Afrikaans," Wegner quipped when he spoke of making lineout calls during matches.
Wegner was one of five South Africans in Verblitz's 23-man squad when they beat Suntory Sungoliath 43-34 in the Japanese Top League Cup final in Chichibu over the weekend.
The others were lock Jason Jenkins, flank Jannes Kirsten, centre Clinton Swart and fullback Gio Aplon.
Two other South Africans represented Verblitz this season, namely lock Reniel Hugo and flyhalf Lionel Cronje. Hugo missed the final due to a calf injury, while Cronje did not make the match-day squad.
Verblitz scored seven tries to Sungoliath’s five, with former Bulls star Jenkins grabbing a brace, while Springbok Aplon, who was the skipper on the day, also got in on the act with a try of his own.
The Kobe Steelers claimed the Japanese league title in December last year when they hammered Suntory Sungoliath 55-5 in the final. Verblitz finished fourth.
White, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in France in 2007, has been at the helm of Verblitz since 2017.