Springboks Schalk Brits (front) and Elton Jantjies visited schools around the Free State Province on Wednesday. Photo: Twitter/@Springboks

JOHANNESBURG - The Springboks are usually afforded a day off during the week of their preparation for a Saturday Test match, and that day is normally reserved for a round of golf in the host city.

Those who don’t play golf or prefer to stay out of the cold, as is the case in Bloemfontein here this week where temperatures on the weekend are set to hit a low of -4 overnight, a trip to the mall or catching up on a movie is often the option.

But having a day off isn’t always about putting the feet up or smacking a little white ball around a well-manicured golf course. Sometimes the Boks give up those little privileges too – to interact with their fans and to give back to those less fortunate. And that is exactly what the Boks did on Wednesday, a few days ahead of the second Test against England.

Rassie Erasmus’ players stepped out into the cold to meet and greet their fans by hosting two signing sessions – at the Loch Logan Waterfront and Mimosa Mall. Then they trekked to nearby Grey College to do another fan engagement and sign jerseys, shirts, balls and posters for their fans.

But that’s not where it ended; they went even further on Wednesday. A group of Bok players travelled 60km from Bloemfontein to Thaba Nchu to represent the SA Rugby Union in their social community programme, “Boks for Books”, at the Moipone Primary School.

And even Erasmus and his assistant coaches got involved in the outreach projects. They and 10 players headed 160km north to the mining town of Welkom to be part of a coaches seminar.

These are the small things the Boks do to help their communities, to get closer to their fans, something that isn’t always acknowledged or seen. The Boks are 1-0 up in the three Test series having won the first Test 42-39 in Joburg last weekend. Kickoff in Bloemfontein on Saturday is 5.05pm.

IOL Sport

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