After disappointment at the Rugby World Cup 2015, which included arguably the most shocking defeat in the tournament’s history, team coach Heyneke Meyer yesterday confirmed that the Springbok will take a yearlong hiatus to pursue ‘other opportunities’.
Team captain Flourie du Preez later confirmed the news, adding that the team with be facing a US ‘All Star’ team at American Football in July 2016. Responding to journalists at a fundraising event in Pretoria he said, “I’ve always fancied playing quarter back and I could use the additional income, so why not?”
Following the news was speculation that the team would rebrand its national emblem, after a leaked memo from London firm Saatchi & Saatchi appeared to show a mock-up of the new team badge (source: bwin). Rugby agent and Union principal responded to the speculation, saying that “[while] a complete rebranding of the team is unlikely, it would be consistent with a growing trend of greater commercial awareness in the sport, with players now frequently switching countries or to the more lucrative ‘league’ version of the game to improve their income”.
Here’s how the Springbok will line-up:
Flourie du Preez (C) – Quarter Back
Tendai Mtwarira – Center
Bismarck du Plessis – Offensive Guard
Frans Malherbe – Offensive Tackle
Eben Etzebeth – Running Back
Victor Matfield – Wide Receiver
Francois Louw – Tight end
Schalk Burger – Defensive Tackle
Duane Vermeulen – Defensive End
Ruan Pienaar – Middle Linebacker
Handre Pollard – Outside Linebacker
Bryan Habana – Safety
Damian de Allende – Cornerback
Jesse Kriel – Nickelback
JP Pietersen – Kicker
Willie le Roux – Holder
Expected to be a sell-out event, South African and US fans will be allocated 80% of the available tickets, with the remainder going on sale globally. The full event will be held in Memphis and will include a half time rendition of Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’, by US Presidential hopeful Donald Tump. Tickets will go on sale with Viagogo from February 2015.