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Legends match planned in aid of Christchurch earthquake

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Rugby legends of the Western Cape, lead by players from Boland, is planning to join forces in aid of the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder with special edition Canterbury jersey in memory of the Christchurch earthquake

Rugby legends from Boland, Western Province and South Western Districts will play in a once off match on 6th May at Boland Stadium in Wellington in aid of the earthquake victims of Christchurch, New Zealand, where the proceeds will be handed over on the 7th of May to a representative of the Crusaders after the Super Rugby match against the Stormers at Newlands.

In 1996 seven rugby players from the Boland – John Triskey, John Booysen, John Gordon, Alan Williams, Aldridge Mercuur, Sysie Petersen and Edgar Siljeur – and Avril Fillies toured the Northland as guests of the NZ Maori Board. They were introduced to the Maori culture and attended rugby matches and coaching clinics in Whangarei, North Harbour, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Gisborne. On their return to South Africa NZ coaching manuals and rugby information were handed over to Sas Bailey, the then Manager of Rugby Development at the South African Rugby Union to  help set up rugby structures in SA for all ages.

“There are many similarities between the NZ rugby fraternity and their South African counterparts and this match is our way of saying thanks to the people of NZ. We know how to rebuild our lives from scratch and we have empathy with our extended whanau (family) in NZ. Triskey and I became honorary Maori’s on our visit in 1996 as part of the Tainui tribe in Hamilton at the Indigenous Tournament on Eden Park, Auckland, in October 1996,” said Fillies.

“By playing this game is a small token to give back to the New Zealanders for their hospitality and sharing their lives with us for the six weeks that we visited the country. Thanks to the generous gesture of the President of the Boland Rugby Union, Francois Davids, he avails the stadium for free to us. We only have to organize the players for the game,” said Fillies.

“The saying goes that action speaks louder than words and I’m appealing to all supporters in the Western Cape to attend the game.

Legends between the ages of 40 and 55 that are interested in playing the game can contact me on 021 904 2503 or Triskey on cell 082 576 9228 to finalize the two teams. The Boland Legends will play against an Invitation XV consisting of players from Western Province and South Western Districts.

“We’ll  update the public weekly on the proceedings and it is now up to the rugby fraternity in the Western Cape to show their support for the New Zealanders in Christchurch,” said Fillies.

Anyone that wish to contribute in any way to this event is also welcome to send us an email to admin@ruggaworld.com

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  1. All I can say is good on Mr Fillies and his colleagues. They obviously went into their NZ experience with their eyes wide open and want to repay their hosts. Growing up in Cape Town and living in NZ for the last 8 years, I can appreciate why Avril and his mate might be made extended whanau -pronounced “faana” or family of a maori tribe. There is a lot in common between our coloured community and the maori, particularly their kindness, concern for family and their humour and zest for life.

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  2. Morne, on a point of correctness, the jersey held by the Crusaders coach in your picture was not in memory of the Christchurch earthquake but in fact in memory of the 29 coalminers who died in a tragic mining accident on the west coast last year. That is why the jersey is red and white – the colours West Coast plays in in the Heartland Competition (like Vodacom Cup). On the front of the jersey they included the names of the miners, two of whom were South Africans – Koos Jonker and a Mr Adams.

    The Crusaders wore the jersey for their game v the Waratahs played in Nelson, because of the earthquake in CHC.

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