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NMB Business Chamber appeal for inclusion in Springbok trophy tour


The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has written to SA Rugby, appealing to them to include the city in the Springbok's upcoming national trophy tour.

Chamber CEO Denise van Huyssteen said the decision by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to exclude Nelson Mandela Bay from the Springbok’s national tour sends a negative message to the residents of the Bay.

"The region’s passion and contribution to rugby is steeped in rich history and cultural significance and the reason behind its exclusion, especially one related to a sport as unifying as rugby, may justifiably be perceived as an orchestrated snub to deny the people of the Metro an opportunity to share in the much-awaited celebrations.

"Rugby is a sport that holds great importance in South Africa, especially in the Metro and has played a huge role in uniting people across racial and cultural divides.

"Excluding a region from such a tour, which has contributed immensely in the sport of rugby, can potentially create feelings of exclusion, disappointment, and frustration among the local community," said van Huyssteen in her letter.

She further stated that the current Captain Siya Kolisi and Assistant Coach Mzwandile Stick both hail from Nelson Mandela Bay, including the former award-winning Bok Coach Rassie Erasmus.

"Through the participation of both Kolisi and Stick in this year’s Rugby World Cup where they emerged victorious, the Metro has a legitimate claim to the win and deserves to be afforded the same opportunity as the rest of the selected cities to fully participate in the upcoming activities to pay homage to their local heroes.

"Their success in the Rugby World Cup is a source of immense pride for the local community. It is a point of pride and inspiration for young and upcoming rugby talent in the area," she said.

Nothing that there could be valid reasons for circumventing the Metro, van Huyssteen called on SARU to communicate their decision in a transparent manner.