Original springbok fires Bokke in France


Bok captain, Siya Kolisi, says the team is “very happy” to play in the green and gold again on Sunday. In addition, the Springboks were surprised in France last week with a gift pack with T-shirts containing the original Springbok emblem.

Kolisi expressed his gratitude on Friday for South Africans’ continued support in the run-up to Sunday’s game against France.

“It’s nice for us to see everyone wearing their green rugby jerseys on Bok-Vrydag. Thank you to everyone in South Africa who supports us and also to the people who come over to watch the matches. We really appreciate it.”

The team was also excited to receive T-shirts with the original Springbok on them. This emblem was used for the first time during the then Springbok team’s international tour to the United Kingdom. The shirts were donated to the Boks by the South African lifestyle brand Republk.

“The team was once again reminded of where the Springbok badge comes from and why they wear it,” said Liza-Mari Oberholzer, managing director of Republk.

“We want to encourage the Springboks through the history of the Springbok emblem, it is a badge that says we decide for ourselves who and what we are, not only our game and character are unique, but also our story.”

During a test series in 1903 against the British, the South African team wore either white jerseys or jerseys in the colors of the union/club that hosted the match and had no insignia on their jerseys. However, before the third and final Test at Newlands, the then South African captain Barry H Heatlie was asked by an unnamed official to consider changing the habit, with a view to giving South Africa a permanent jersey. At the time, Heatley had a stock of dark green jerseys on hand, the colors of the defunct Old Diocesan’s Club. It was decided to wear those jerseys at Newlands, and since then South African fifteens have been dressed in green.

The Springbok would be added during the first international tour to the United Kingdom in 1906. Paul Roos was captain and HJ Carolin the vice-captain. The manager of the 1906 tour, John Cecil “Daddy” Carden said at the time that no uniforms or jackets were provided for the tour. “We were a motley group at the training in Richmond. I talked to Roos and Carolin that night and pointed out that the London press would come up with some funny name for us, if we didn’t come up with one ourselves. We then agreed to call ourselves ‘Springboks’.”