Jantjies family's pleasant conundrum
For Thomas and Alma Jantjies, this weekend presented an impossible logistical challenge. They had wanted to watch both their sons, Elton and Tony, play for their country at venues 760km apart.
In the end, they had to settle in elder brother Elton's favour.
The 21-year-old was yesterday included in the 22-man Springbok squad to face England in the third and final rugby test in Port Elizabeth, while 19-year-old Tony will be on the bench for the Baby Boks in the World Junior Championship final against the Baby Blacks in Cape Town tomorrow night.
The players' parents had to make a difficult call yesterday. They decided to go to Port Elizabeth because they had already travelled twice to watch Tony in action in Cape Town for the Baby Boks earlier this month. Tony, who played in the Baby Boks' earlier games, missed out on subsequent matches because of injury. He has recovered and has been included in the squad for the final.
The Jantjies decided in favour of Elton because he might make his test debut on Saturday.
Elton, who plays for the Lions, has toured with the Boks, but never played a test. On Saturday, he will be one of seven reserves and could make his test debut from the bench.
The family have arranged for Tony to join them in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
"It was a huge surprise when Elton's name was read out," said his father about yesterday's Springbok team announcement.
"Elton had given no indication he was going to be in the squad because he didn't know.
"This is such an honour for our family. His mother didn't watch the team announcement because she was in a meeting at work, but since she found out she has been in tears.
"Both our sons are involved in huge matches this weekend and I can't stop thanking the Lord, the selectors and coaches Heyneke Meyer and Dawie Theron.
"Those two coaches have bestowed a great privilege and opportunity to my two sons," the dad said.
Another man who is delighted with Elton's selection is Lions coach John Mitchell.
"I'm really pleased that Heyneke has taken this opportunity to put Elton on the bench," Mitchell said.
Jantjies has been the biggest driving force behind his sons' careers and still keeps copious notes on their performances.
Both players live with their parents. Elton and Tony, a Blue Bull, often train together at a gym, where former cruiserweight world boxing champion Sebastian Rothman works on their fitness.