Springbok Factory. What it takes to be a Bok

Thousands dream of playing Rugby for South Africa. Springbok Factory tells what it takes to make it as a Bok.
McGregor, Liz
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Title: Springbok Factory
Subtitle: What it takes to be a Bok
Authors: Liz McGregor
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781868424696 / ISBN 978-1-86842-469-6
Softcover, 15x23 cm, 214 pages, several colour photos


Thousands of young boys dream of playing for their country. Few will don the green and gold despite prodigious amounts of talent, passion and dedication. So, what does it take to make it as a Bok? Imagine for a moment that the Springbok set-up is a factory where the player is the 'finished product' coming off the assembly line. What are the components required? And what does it take for them to cohere % into a successful team? Author Liz McGregor spent two years behind the scenes interviewing the players, coaches, wives and girlfriends, mothers and teachers. She also spoke to the Bok doctor and physio, the sponsors, brand managers and the logistics guy. And then there's the boss, the South African Rugby Union. What she discovered is as fascinating as it is complex.

That parents play a crucial role, as do those early coaches and teachers who identify and nurture talent; that injury lurks behind every corner; that it takes incredible courage to go back onto the field to face another battering; and that the 'business' of the Springboks is one that is both well and poorly managed, depending where you look. By the end of her journey, McGregor had developed a deep regard for the players and many of the people who work to put the best team South Africa can offer onto the field. At the Rugby World Cup in 1995, Nelson Mandela showed how a Springbok team can unite a nation. But there are parts of the Springbok Factory that are in urgent need of repair or, indeed, replacement.

Contents: Springbok Factory. What it takes to be a Bok

The Mothers
The Schools
The Bok Brothers
The Bok Captain
The Coaches
The Wives and Girlfriends
The Black Bok
The Banker
Schalk Burger
The Big Bok Loss
The Owners
Crunching the numbers
Springbok 2011 World Cup Squad
Selected Player Profiles (to end 2012)