Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth with vice-captain Siya Kolisi and prop Tendai Mtawarira, who will earn his 92nd cap against Argentina on Saturday. Photo: @Springboks via Twitter
Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth with vice-captain Siya Kolisi and prop Tendai Mtawarira, who will earn his 92nd cap against Argentina on Saturday. Photo: @Springboks via Twitter
The Springbok squad pose for the team photo in their red kit on Friday ahead of the Test against Argentina in Salta. Photo: @Springboks via Twitter
The Springbok squad pose for the team photo in their red kit on Friday ahead of the Test against Argentina in Salta. Photo: @Springboks via Twitter

CAPE TOWN – It was a shock to the system after it was announced, but now the day has arrived – the Springboks will be playing in red jerseys!

When Allister Coetzee’s team run out at the Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta on Saturday (9.40pm kickoff SA time), they will don a once-off red jersey that the SA Rugby Union says commemorates 25 years of rugby unity in this country.

The two major rugby federations back in 1992 were the non-racial SA Rugby Union and the apartheid-era SA Rugby Board, and they agreed to form a supposedly unified SA Rugby Football Union (Sarfu), which opened the doors for the Boks to play Test rugby.

The first game was against the All Blacks at Ellis Park on August 15, 1992, which New Zealand won 27-24, and that match was followed by a muddy contest at Newlands against Australia a week later, which the then-world champions dominated to win 26-3.

The Springboks posted their team photo on Twitter on Friday afternoon – the first time we’ve seen the team together in the new red jersey instead of the green-and-gold or alternative white strip. It looked more like orange than red, and was greeted by howls of derision from their supporters.

@ekweetals tweeted: “You should rethink SERIOUSLY!! This is ridiculous.”

@CaptainGrogg: “So wrong on so many levels. #CashCow”

@Shawnnell: “Shocking!”

@ThubaDlamini: “Worst kit ever!”

@Wilson6MB: “That kit is so damn horrible! Don't mess with legacy. Good luck to the Bokke anyway.”

@LantanaAce: “There was this one time a marketing guy said ‘Let’s change the flavor of Coke’.”

 * What do you think of the red jersey? Let us know on Twitter – @IOLsport or on our Facebook page – IOL Sport.

 

IOL Sport