Current captain Jean de Villiers will join the oldest living Springbok skipper, 83-year-old Des van Jaarsveldt, and 40 others in Cape Town on Wednesday, to mark the countdown to the opening of a new rugby museum.
The group of 42 national team captains – including Gary Teichman, Bob Skinstad and Joost van der Westhuizen – from South African rugby’s diverse history would gather to capture their handprints in special moulds in a public ceremony, the SA Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Monday.
The moulds would later be cast into bronze and installed as part of the new Springbok Experience museum, which is due to open at the Waterfront in September.
“We have had a tremendous response from the captains for what will be a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said SARU president Oregan Hoskins.
“The Springbok Experience will tell their story, and of the teams they captained.
“By capturing their handprints for posterity we will have a permanent record that those players passed this way, one that rugby followers can literally touch.
“It will be a very special occasion, to have more than 40 national captains assembled in one place, and one that will never be repeated.”
Austen van Heerden, the oldest living captain of the former SA Coloured Rugby Football Board – who led the team in 1961 – would be in attendance, as well as Bomza Nkhola, the oldest surviving captain of the SA African Rugby Board.
SARU said the experience would tell the story of rugby in South Africa from the 1860s, as well as the ‘traditional’ Springbok story, including that of black rugby players and administrators.
The full list of confirmed captains – in historical order – is as follows:
Des van Jaarsveldt; Avril Malan; Austen van Heerden; Abie Malan; Ebrahim Rinquest; Nelie Smith; John Bekkers; Dawie de Villiers; Welile (“Bomza”) Nkhola; Salie Fredericks; Norman Mbiko; Hannes Marais; Dougie Dyers; Piet Greyling; Liston Ntshongwana; Thompson Magxala; Cassiem Jabaar; Jack Juries; Peter Jooste; Theuns Stofberg; Wynand Claassen; Julian Smith; Randy Marinus; Divan Serfontein; Naas Botha; Peter Slabbert; Fagmie Solomons; Jannie Breedt, Allister Coetzee*; Francois Pienaar; Tiaan Strauss; Adriaan Richter; Gary Teichmann; Corné Krige; Rassie Erasmus; Joost van der Westhuizen; Andre Vos; Bobby Skinstad; Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe; Mandisa Williams; Ingrid Botha, Jean de Villiers*.
* Stormers commitments permitting.
The Springbok experience: The 800 square metre facility will feature a modern, interactive rugby museum, Springbok shop and ‘Springbok Trials’ rugby skills zone. The Springbok Experience replaces SARU’s former museum in Boundary Road, Newlands and is set to provide an eye-opening contrast to traditional museums.