Johannesburg Inspirational Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, implored Bok supporters to come down early to Ellis Park on Saturday, start their braais, crack open a few chilled brewskies and then watch the SA senior national women’s team, who will also be in action on the day, against Spain at the Stadium.
The Imbokodo will be the curtain-raiser for the Boks when they host Spain at 1pm, while the senior national men’s team face the All Blacks in the second of back-to-back Rugby Championship clashes at 5pm.
“People should come out earlier,” Kolisi encouraged fans, while speaking to the media on Friday.
“You have a reason to start braaing earlier and have a few cold ones – some liquid ale – because the Bok women are playing at 1pm against Spain and I think it is going to be an amazing game.
“We must keep on supporting them and continue to support them. At the end of the day, they are repressing all of us.“
Earlier on the day, both teams met in Fourways – north of Johannesburg – for a rare, combined team photo opportunity; with Kolisi, positively gushing thereafter.
Said the skipper: “It was beautiful what happened.
“I was taking pictures with the (women). I have been a big supporter of them for a very long time. I go to their games. I chat to them, I try to post about them on social media as much as I can because they work as hard as we do, if not harder.
“Just in general, women in sport, they don’t get as much as we do and it is up to us to make sure we celebrate them and that we talk about them. To see how hard they’ve had to work, where they have come from and every year they are just getting better and better.”
The 31-year-old expressed his belief that the women’s game is just as important to the development of the game in the country, as anything that the senior national men’s team do.
“Now, we have got some of the (Bok women) playing international teams – at Saracens, at Exeter – and they just won against Japan, who beat Australia. It is something that is not celebrated enough. It is a big thing – not just for them but for us as a country.
“You don’t only have young boys from anywhere in the country that can say that they can make it,” Kolisi added. “There will be young girls, too, who can dream. So to see them and spend time with them is really amazing. I am proud of them.”
The Bok women have never beaten Spain in their three previous encounters, so history beckons, one that can be spurred on by healthy support on Saturday. In the previous encounters Spain have won 36-0, 17-5 and 29-12.
The Bok women are currently preparing for the World Rugby Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, starting in October and this past week received a massive boost with FNB signing on as their mainline sponsor.