Yes folks, you heard right, football giant Kaizer Chiefs has registered a rugby team to participate in a tournament in George over December.
Both mainstream sporting codes in South Africa will be on show together for the first time, when a rugby team wearing the kit of South African soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs participates in a tournament based on a T20 Cricket format.
The occasion is the inaugural NBM 7’s Premier League tournament, taking place in George, on 14-15 December. The tournament features the South African Super Rugby franchises and six corporate teams from all over the country. Numerous celebrities, famous South African brands and sporting icons will participate in two days of action-packed sports at the picturesque Outeniqua Park Stadium.
The Kaizer Chiefs 7s rugby team will be coached by former Springbok, Gcobani Bobo, and captained by former record try-scoring Springbok ace, Breyton Paulse.
According to tournament promoter Willem Strauss “Witnessing the social cohesion and interaction between different cultures when the Bulls played their Super Rugby matches in Orlando in 2010, was the inspiration for inviting the soccer giants, Kaizer Chiefs to participate in the NMB 7s Premier League.” Strauss also added that this is a major coup for rugby. Tournament promoter Willem Strauss describes this as a major coup for rugby. “With sevens now an Olympic sport and South Africa realistic medal contenders for the 2016 Games in Rio, this is fantastic news. Kaizer Chiefs is one of the biggest brands in South Africa and to expose their fans to rugby opens up a whole new audience for the game. I am very grateful for the support from Chiefs and I am sure they will benefit greatly from this venture.”
Marketing Manager of Kaizer Chiefs, Jessica Motaung, explained why they have decided to field a team in this unique tournament.
“This is the coming together of two big brands, a cross cover of two sporting worlds and we at Kaizer Chiefs are very excited about it. We like to be part of sports history as a brand and we felt the association with the Rugby 7s is a historical milestone in football, rugby and sports as a whole. Our Sponsor and Financial Insurance Business partner, Hollard brought the opportunity to us and we agreed so we could take our place in this exciting sports event. Kaizer Chiefs and Hollard have a special association and we are thrilled that they thought of the Gold and Black to be a part of the tournament.
Amakhosi will have the might of our supporters behind us and I am confident that Gcobani and Breyton will do a great job. We are about Love & Peace, but we mean business on the field of play.”
Michelle Davadoss, Marketing Director of Hollard Insurance said “We’re excited about this unique initiative which promotes collaboration across sports, which celebrates excellence and which promotes healthy activity in a family-friendly environment. This is a great example of the different thinking we bring to our partnerships – our great relationship with Kaizer Chiefs has enabled this initiative. We’re especially thrilled about the fact that the Kaizer Chiefs 7s team will run rugby clinics in the local neighbourhoods as part of community development and promoting rugby among the youth.”
Both Bobo and Paulse played for the Springboks in fifteens and sevens, two of only a handful of players ever to achieve this.
The decision by the iconic Chiefs brand to venture into rugby was embraced by a very excited Bobo.
“In my early days in sport, I wanted nothing more than to play for Kaizer Chiefs, become a legend and then move to Real Madrid. It did not work out quite that way as I became a rugby player, but this opportunity to be associated with Kaizer Chiefs is one I cannot miss again. It will be a massive honour and privilege to coach their team. Breyton has vast experience as a player and to tap into that knowledge will be a massive boost to the rest of the team,” said Bobo.
Paulse and Bobo will be joined by a number of sevens icons, with the likes of Fabian Juries, Stefan Basson, Mzwandile Stick and Brent Russell playing alongside and against international stars like Zar Lawrence (New Zealand), Ben Gollings (England), Shane Williams (Wales)and possibly Quade Cooper (Australia) amongst others.
The six Super Rugby franchises will also field numerous of their star players as the R1 million rand in prize money provide massive incentives to all to field their best teams.
Tickets are for sale at Computicket branches nationwide already.