Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said the team will be playing for Jannie du Plessis and his family when they take on England on Saturday. This comes after Du Plessis lost his one-year-old son to a drowning accident earlier this week. The tragic incident occurred in Du Plessis’s swimming pool on his 39th birthday.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of their final game, Kolisi said: “The guys who are close to him have been speaking to him and obviously we think about him and his family, it makes you think of your own family as well, you know.”
“It is really tough, our thoughts are with them. It gives us motivation as well, we know we can’t make a big difference, but we will play for him tomorrow.
“He is family, he is a Springbok legend who has given so much to the jersey. When we are happy, we are happy together. When we are sad, we are sad together. So, we are thinking of him and his family. All we can do is send prayers to them,” Kolisi added.
Meanwhile, Duane Vermeulen also had words of support for his former Springbok teammate, which he expressed earlier this week. According to the official website, Vermeulen said: “It is a difficult time for them and we support them. I simply can’t imagine what Jannie and his family must be going through. I can’t begin to comprehend what one must feel after such a loss.”
The match kicks off at 5:15pm (SA time).
15 Freddie Steward, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Ben Youngs 8 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes (captain), 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Bevan Rodd
Substitutes: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Alex Dombrandt, 22 Raffi Quirke, 23 Max Malins
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn
Picture: Twitter / @toksvdl