Wishing the Boks success today
Tlight. HE SPRINGBOKS begin their quest for re- demption, after their annus horribilis last year, when they face France at Loftus Vers- feld today in the first of three Tests this month. The Boks could hardly have ended last year on a worse note when they lost their second-last match of the season to insignificant Italy, marking a low point in their proud history. But the gloom has been swept aside and the por- tents are that an invigorated Bok team will hit the ground running today with a brand of rugby that will not only win matches but thrill supporters. There is a new energy about the team and in Al- lister Coetzee, a coach who will be much the wiser in his second year in charge. He has been positive and cautious this week when speaking about the “new beginnings” for him and his team. Coetzee is a coach stung by criticism – “we are not living in a fool’s paradise” – but has spoken about a vibrant group of players who want to set the record straight. He has selected seven Lions players in his start- ing XV for today’s clash and while some hoped for more personnel from South Africa’s form Super Rugby side, the spine of the team will marshal the way the Boks play. That will hopefully be expansive and – most pertinently – winning rugby. The Lions have been our standard-bearers the last three seasons and the “king of the pride”, Warren Whiteley, has been chosen as the 58th man to captain the Boks. He is an immensely positive character and the ideal can- didate to lead a team out of the dark and into the The men in green and gold are an important part of South African culture. They are two-time Rugby World Cup champions and have brought much joy to this country. Every South African will be wish- ing Coetzee, Whiteley and co the very best as they begin this fresh chapter of Springbok rugby.