Cape Town - A brand-new Springbok jersey could bring fresh luck to the team, as captain Jean de Villiers says his side “will beat the All Blacks” this year.
The new Bok jersey, made by new apparel sponsor Asics, was unveiled at a glittering event at the Lookout Marquee at the V&A Waterfront on Thursday night. The event was attended by a number of other Boks, including Duane Vermeulen, Willie le Roux, Pat Lambie, Pierre Spies and Schalk Burger.
And De Villiers feels that coach Heyneke Meyer’s team will topple the world champion All Blacks, who haven’t lost to the Boks since 2011.
“Last year as a Springbok team, I thought we did pretty well and I thought we made some good strides. The key is to keep on improving every year. This year will be tough for us, and I think it’s always tough the year prior to a World Cup to perform,” said De Villiers.
“We made good strides last year, but this year, the challenge will be even bigger. We have to beat the All Blacks this year, we will beat the All Blacks this year. We’ve got to keep on striving to be the No 1 team in the world.”
There are a few changes in the jersey, with a sharp gold collar and gold sleeves. The new high-end jersey goes on sale from Friday at R649, with a lower-end edition at R399. A limited-edition Test replica jersey will cost R2 499.
Asics, a Japanese sports goods company, has committed to setting up a subsidiary in South Africa that will manufacture 70% of the Bok jerseys.
“It’s fantastic to represent your country, and tonight, to have a jersey like this, it’s a beautiful jersey,” De Villiers said.
The Boks will wear the new jerseys for the first time at Newlands on June 7 against the World XV.