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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Excerpt from Springbok Factory: What It Takes to be a Bok by L McGregor

Springbok FactoryNamibiana Buchdepot has shared an excerpt from Liz McGregor’s book Springbok Factory: What it takes to be a Bok, noting that the author “takes the reader to the heart of the matter through a number of interviews with important insiders”.

In this extract McGregor describes the manner in which captain Jean de Villiers faces the local media after a disappointing performance from the Boks’ side: “It always impresses me how skilful he is at this, the part of the game that takes place away from the heat and immediacy of the field.”

Read the excerpt:

It’s been a dreadful tour: three games lost out of four and a whopping great fine for some mysterious misdemeanour. This is the first time Jean de Villiers has faced the local media since the team’s return from Australasia and he puts on the usual, masterful performance. I hesitate over the use of the word ‘performance’, because that implies artifice, a show, when what we get feels utterly authentic. It is a sophisticated narrative that is laid out here, encompassing failure, humiliation and a vision of redemption, with a bit of tragedy thrown in.
First, there is the self-flagellation. De Villiers and Stormers’ coach Allister Coetzee scrutinise their team’s role in their plight. Last year, the Stormers topped the South African log of the Super Rugby conference.

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