In a snippet from the latest SA Rugby magazine, we take a look at who is the flavour of the month, and who is not.
HOT: Faf de Klerk
Over a large portion of the World Cup, the Bok scrumhalf came in for more than his fair share of criticism due to a perceived over-reliance on the kicking game. However, De Klerk delivered a standout performance in the final, before winning over a new legion of fans when pictures emerged showing him wearing just his proudly South African speedo as he celebrated after the victory over England. De Klerk even posed with the Webb Ellis trophy wearing just his budgie smuggler, while many memes popped up after a video showed him also meeting Prince Harry in his ‘swimwear’. When the Boks returned to South Africa for their trophy tour, many male fans replicated the look as they cheered on De Klerk in matching ‘Speedos’. Yet, it wasn’t all just fun and games, with De Klerk also using the fanfare to start the ‘Faf challenge’, aimed at raising awareness around testicular cancer. ‘Don’t Faf this one up! Be ballsy,’ he wrote on Instagram.
At the start of June 2019, Saracens completed a memorable European and domestic double by retaining the English Premiership title with a thrilling win over Exeter at Twickenham. Yet, this past November, the revered English club was rocked by the news that they would be fined £5.36-million and handed a 35-points deduction for breaching the Premiership’s salary cap. Saracens considered appealing the sanction but ultimately decided to accept their punishment when the deadline passed. The penalty left Saracens floundering at the bottom of the the Premiership table with a negative points tally and facing the very real threat of relegation. In a statement released on the club’s official website, owner Nigel Wray said they ‘did the wrong thing for the right reasons’ and accepted the penalties ‘with humility’.