The world of rugby doesn’t like the Boks – and that needs to change

South Africans love the Springboks, but let’s face it, nobody else does. Out there, from Buenos Aires to Dublin to Brisbane, people see the Boks as brutal, boring and boorish. To some extent, this is only to be expected – as a rule in sport, supporters exaggerate the sins of their team’s rivals, especially if those rivals happen to be the reigning champions. 

There are exceptions – phenomenal teams who have won millions of  “neutral” fans beyond their borders and their domestic fan bases. Think of supra-nationally sexy institutions like the rugby All Blacks, the Brazilian national football side, the Ferrari F1 team, the cricket Windies in their 1980s heyday, Pep-era Barcelona, Klopp-era Liverpool, peak Wenger-era Arsenal.  These are teams who play the game with a variable mix of brilliance, glamour and collective charm.

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Carlos Amato
Carlos Amato is an editorial cartoonist, writer and illustrator living in Johannesburg, with a focus on sport, culture and politics. He has degrees in literature and animation, used to edit the ‘Sunday Times Lifestyle’ magazine and is the author of ‘Wayde van Niekerk: Road to Glory’ (Jonathan Ball, 2018).

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