JOHANNESBURG – In an historic and radical move, it’s been announced the Springboks will no longer play in their traditional green and gold jersey but rather in red and gold from June 2014.
The colour change forms part of the decision to rebrand the team as the “Rooibokke” as a result of Absa’s official sponsorship of the national side. The kit will be formally revealed in Cape Town later this month and will be worn by the players for the first time in a test against Wales at Kings Park in June.
South African Rugby Union (SARU) chief executive Jurie Roux says they would be “foolish if they did not look at ways to move the game forward” by exploiting commercial opportunities.
“There is always a risk of being dated and we thought there was no better time to make this announcement before the new jersey is unveiled later this month,” says Roux.
New kit sponsor Asics say the colour evokes feelings of passion, strength, courage and power – all values that will be needed as Heyneke Meyer’s side look to finally topple the All Blacks as the world’s best team.
Barclays Africa, which owns Absa, says it is “hugely honoured” to have the South African national rugby team now playing in the Absa brand colours.
The bank’s head of marketing, David Wingfield, says: “We wholeheartedly support this heritage and as the official sponsor of the team, are excited to be involved in this new departure.”
Former Bok captain Corné Krige says that while the decision has surprised him, he feels that fans will quickly get behind the Rooibokke.
“Going from green and gold to red and gold isn’t the end of the world. I think in future kids will be dreaming about playing in red and gold. As we long as we keep the Springbok emblem, it doesn’t matter.”
Source: Eyewitness News