Jun 16, 2018
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Contained in the Springbok Manufacturing facility: How one faculty has produced 46 South Africa internationals

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Contained in the Springbok Manufacturing facility: How one faculty has produced 46 South Africa internationals

The South Africa crew blazers of former pupils who’ve performed for the Springboks will be seen within the faculty’s museum
South Africa v England – second Take a look at
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein Date: Saturday 16 June Kick-off: 16:05 BST
Protection: Dwell radio and textual content commentary on BBC Radio 5 dwell, BBC Sport web site and cellular app.

Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk, Olympic swimming champion Ryk Neethling, former South Africa cricket captain Hansie Cronje, and 46 Springboks – all from the identical faculty.

In rugby’s skilled period, no faculty has produced as many South Africa internationals as Gray Faculty in Bloemfontein.

Dubbed the “Springbok Manufacturing facility”, Gray has produced a Springbok in each place.

Their names are etched on the partitions of the primary XV altering room and solely the chosen gamers are allowed to enter.

South Africa scrum-half Piet van Zyl – who solely managed to play for the college’s second crew – by no means noticed inside these partitions.

When he returned to the college along with his Springbok blazer, he entered the altering room for the primary time – and cried.

BBC Sport went behind the scenes at Gray to search out the secrets and techniques of its success, and the way it’s adapting to the altering face of South Africa.

‘I owe all the things to Gray’

The varsity’s ultimate match of the season is anticipated to draw a crowd of round 15,000

Set on the outskirts of the modest metropolis of Bloemfontein, within the expanses of the Free State on the Highveld, Gray could lack the pomp and ceremony of its British equivalents, however not the historical past.

Reminders of its well-known alumni will be present in each nook of the college, from the memorabilia within the corridor, to the memorial wall, the place Cronje’s ashes are scattered following his sudden demise on the age of 32.

The most important inter-school video games – such because the upcoming showdown with Paul Roos in Stellenbosch – will entice as much as 15,000 supporters.

Worldwide superstars wander into the college on a whim, with South Africa sevens captain Philip Snyman – a proud Gray outdated boy – popping in after captaining the Blitzbokke to back-to-back World Collection titles.

He greets the present first-team coach, Wessel du Plessis, with the Gray Faculty handshake.

“Every thing I find out about rugby and about being a human being was due to this faculty. My roots and foundations are right here,” Snyman stated.

“You needed to play for the brotherhood and the jersey subsequent to you, and it is the identical now for the Springbok Sevens.

“It would not matter the place I dwell, if I’ve a son, I’ll ship him to Gray Faculty.”

‘Gray is larger than the person’

The varsity has a novel handshake utilized by college students, outdated boys and members of employees

South Africa schoolboys’ rugby is considered by some