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DHL stadium set to be abuzz for epic Cape Town Test

Welsh rugby hero Scott Gibbs and former Springbok fullback Percy Montgomery expect a full house as Boks usher an exciting era of rugby in the Mother City

14 July 2022 - 11:47
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The Springboks will face Wales at the DHL stadium on Saturday for the the third Test match in the series.
The Springboks will face Wales at the DHL stadium on Saturday for the the third Test match in the series.
Image: 123RF/vectorfusionart

Wales’ celebrated centre, Scott Gibbs, is in Cape Town and considers himself privileged to get to watch the world champion Springboks play at the DHL Stadium on Saturday. 

Gibbs, who in 1997 was named player of the series when the British and Irish Lions beat the Springboks 2-1 in a three-Test series, also played the Springboks on three other occasions for Wales.

He says the challenge of playing against the Boks is one of the highlights in his career, which has won him 58 international caps — while representing Wales and Great Britain in the rugby league.

Gibbs also has no hesitation, Cape Town is his favourite destination as a tourist and a player.

“The city has everything, I love visiting Cape Town. I have wonderful memories as a player from 1997 but I have been back often as a visitor and it is always a highlight. 

“To be able to attend the match is special. The Boks haven’t played in front of a crowd in Cape Town since winning the World Cup in 2019. They played out a titanic series in the city against the Lions a year ago, but it was hollow without the fervour of a packed crowd.

“This Saturday will be different, and it will be buzzing. What a chance to watch the world champions in theMother City, especially for me because it will be against Wales. It is going to be a massive occasion and worth every cent of admission.” 

The DHL Stadium is expected to be a sold out for the Boks’ first ever Test at their new Cape Town home, and Gibbs says anyone who goes to the stadium won’t leave disappointed.

“We saw the incredible atmosphere at Loftus in the series opener and from what I saw on TV, the atmosphere for the United Rugby Championship (URC) final was electric. 

“It’s an exciting era for rugby in Cape Town. There’s a new stadium, the Stormers are URC champions, and the Springboks are in town — a year out from defending their World Cup in France. For those of us who love the game, it doesn’t get much better than being in Cape Town for a Test.”

Percy Montgomery, Springbok rugby’s first Test centurion and points-scoring record-holder against Wales, with 91 in nine Tests and a 31 in one Test, said Saturday is going to be memorable.

“This will be my first time at the DHL Stadium to watch the Springboks in a Test match. It is said the first time is always the best and the Boks have never played in front of a crowd at the new stadium. We have seen the support for the Test matches in Pretoria and Bloemfontein, and South Africans who were starved of attending Bok matches in 2021 are hungry to see the best in the world play at home.

“I can’t wait to experience the buzz and take in an atmosphere that will be very different to what I was used to as a player at Newlands. A year ago, it was so frustrating living down the road from the stadium and not being able to attend the Lions Test series. 

“Given it is the first and only Test for the Bokke in Cape Town this year, I won't miss out on this one.” 

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This article was paid for by WP Rugby.

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