Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has named his 32-man squad to take on Wales, Scotland and England without veteran Morne Steyn, who has retired.
After reports coming out of South Africa that Cosatu has received complaints and that the issue of race has yet again used the Boks as a political pawn for selfish ambitions, I felt obligated to write this letter.
It has come down to this. After years of hard commitment, I find myself in the position to write this letter.
From an early age, you cradled me. Even though you weren’t on the big stage, you still had the Currie Cup to make me feel wanted. There was a time when I was growing up that you went on the big adventure to see the world.
You spread your love and unique brand and formed strong rivalries with other teams, but no matter where you went and who you played, you and I were always together.
You and I achieved so much in such a short time. We enjoyed a beautiful honeymoon period by lifting the holy grail and uniting 47 million people into one joyous country. No matter what happened out in the world or even at home, you and I were in love.
It was a wonderful time.
There was a time after the honeymoon when you began to experiment with different things for a couple of years and it wasn’t really good for either of us. But I stayed loyal to you. And you paid back my loyalty in 1998 by winning your first tri-nations title. Things again were looking sunny and rosie. We were back on the same path of our previous honeymoon.
But soon after out second wind, you yet again did some strange things. Even though you were partaking in strange activities, you still adorned me with silver and gold and I remained loyal. Even when others laughed at me, I still praised you, even when you weren’t aware of it. I loved you so much that I wore your clothes in public without shame.
For the past 25 years or so, I have been infatuated with you. I loved you and you loved me back. It was a beautiful relationship but I think that it has run it’s course.
Just please remember, no matter what happens, you’ll always have a piece of my heart. As famous lovers once said “I wish I knew how to quit you”.
I truly wish I knew how, but the best thing for the both of us, is for me to leave. You may think that you are to blame, but you aren’t. Even if you aren’t your best, I would have normally stood by your side. As the vows say, “in sickness and in health”.
At the moment, you are a bit sick and I feel awful for writing this letter, but I believe there’s another party that is controlling you. Trust me, it isn’t the fact that you are sick and cannot perform well. Usually this is time that I’ll make excuses for you and defend you, but I cannot defend the other party that you have found yourself with.
When I got into a relationship with you, I believed that it was the best of you and the best of me. I would not ask for anything less than the best and I’m sure that you wanted the best from me, which I have tried to do every year, but I believe now that you cannot offer the best of you. And it isn’t your fault.
It seems that someone is abusing you and has given you a black eye (no pun intended, but let’s wink the blackened eye to Cosatu) and I can see that you are being forced away from me. You can no longer offer your best and it isn’t entirely your own fault. But as I said, I cannot commit to a relationship where someone else is pulling your strings.
I know that you have your hands tied in this regard but you cannot expect me to stick around when you cannot give me your best.
I have said that you’ll always have a piece of my heart and you’ll also have a piece of my soul, but I cannot stay in this relationship. We have been through tough times before, like any other strong relationship – but you’ve never really included a third party in our time and I’ve stayed loyal. But now it seems that we have run out of time. This distant relative of yours has broken my trust and I cannot stay.
Maybe one day, when your relative leaves, I’ll come back if you want me back but for now, please let me leave. I’ll still keep in contact and will check in every now and then, but for now we should take a break. It just hurts too much to think of what you are made to do to satisfy your relative.
I’m leaving my important valuables with you so you know that I still love you but I can’t be with you for now. I hope that you understand. I wish you all the best for the future and wish you all the success. I’ll be watching from afar and hope that you find good fortune.
I love you Bok, but I have to leave until you find your true self again.