VIDEOS, PICS: Champion Blitzboks get heroes’ welcome!


The champs are here! The Blitzboks, World Sevens Series champions, and the feel-good story of South African sport, arrived to a heroes’ welcome in Cape Town from London on Tuesday.

A couple of hundred fans, including a group from Weber Gedenk Primary School in Jamestown, made the journey to the Cape Town International Airport to wave their flags and show off their home-made banners.

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Rosko Specman (right) takes a selfie with pupils from Weber Gedenk Primary School at the Blitzbok arrival at Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday. Photo: Ashfak MohamedThe Blitzbok squad show off their trophies! Photo: Ashfak MohamedBlitzbok coach Neil Powell (second from right) is flanked by Chris Dry (far right), captain Philip Snyman and Rosko Specman (far left). Photo: Ashfak Mohamed

And once the Blitzboks came through the door, they were greeted by the national anthem being belted out as wives and girlfriends and other family members embraced the players.

Former Blitzbok teammates Seabelo Senatla, Cheslin Kolbe and Juan de Jongh were also in the crowd, and received some of the biggest cheers on the day.

The Springbok Sevens had already clinched the series crown the previous weekend at the Paris Sevens before their semi-final, but went on to win that tournament just for good measure.

The Blitzboks walk through the doors at International Arrivals. Video: Ashfak Mohamed

They were victorious in the Plate section at the London Sevens at Twickenham this past weekend, but had some of their five tournament trophies on hand on Tuesday as well.

Senatla was the ace in the Blitzbok side before joining the Stormers for Super Rugby, and it was left to Rosko Specman to fill those enormous shoes, which he did with aplomb.

Specman’s reward was a place in the World Sevens Dream Team, along with the tireless Chris Dry, and coach Neil Powell had a special word for both of them.

“We lost Seabelo after that Vancouver tournament, and Speckies made a massive step-up to almost take that role and responsibility of Seabelo over,” Powell said on Tuesday.

Rosko Specman showing one of the Blitzbok trophies to pupils from Weber Gedenk Primary School. Video: Ashfak Mohamed

“It obviously helps our team if somebody is doing it, and Seabelo is a special player – he scored something like 32 tries in four tournaments! That is an amazing stat.

“Then Seabelo leaves and somebody takes up that role and makes it his, and that was Rosko for us.

“I think Rosko had a phenomenal season, and was rightly included in the Dream Team with Chris, who I think had one of his best seasons since I’ve started with this system.”

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