Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
The All Blacks have the fearsome haka, but the Springboks have “Bokkie” to gees them up… or rather, they did.
The beloved green and gold mascot, Bokkie, has been banned from the Under-20 World Cup final at Newlands tonight after a ruling by the International Rugby Board (IRB).
The life-size antelope was due to lead the Baby Boks out on to the pitch, as the creature has led out Springbok Sevens teams in the past.
But the SA Rugby Union’s Junior World Cup spokesman, Rayaan Adriaanse, said the IRB had declined permission for a special mascot, which no other teams used. “We have to abide by IRB rules,” he said.
Instead, the Baby Boks will have to find their own inner strength when they line up during the Baby Blacks’ haka war dance – just as their forebears did at Ellis Park in the final of the 1995 World Cup.
“Yes, the team will line up and face the haka, and give it the respect it deserves,” Adriaanse said.
He explained that the Baby Boks would not be allowed to cross the centre line – a rule that was aggressively broken by 1995 beast-sized lock Kobus Wiese before that final.
Likewise, the All Blacks would have to remain behind the 10m line in their half, to ensure that there was “daylight” between the two cup finalists.
Adriaanse said 17 000 seats had been set aside for the match, but this had been over-subscribed by 8 000.
“The tournament has exceeded all our expectations and the IRB has been full of praise,” he said.