Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Have a laugh: Etzebeth explains new haircut … and Kolbe’s fight with SA flag

The Boks had some good stories to tell following their World Cup triumph in Paris at the weekend.

The Springboks had a number of hilarious anecdotes to share on their victorious arrival back in South Africa on Tuesday after their successful defence of their World Cup title in France over the past two months.

The Boks touched down at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to a rousing reception on Tuesday morning, with captain Siya Kolisi, coach Jacques Nienaber and a few players then participating in an arrival press conference.

Two of those players were Bok enforcer Eben Etzebeth, sporting a brand new haircut, and a tired looking Cheslin Kolbe. who seemed to have lost his voice in the celebrations since Saturday night.

Etzebeth’s new hair style

Etzebeth was asked about his new look, which was eerily similar to his lock colleague RG Snyman’s, with him then explaining how it had happened.

“About five weeks ago, me and RG Snyman spoke on the bus. I said if we win the World Cup, I’d cut my hair the same as his. After the win in the final, it was about 4.30am, and the last time I drank water was in the game … so we weren’t drinking water,” explained Etzebeth, with a grin.

“He then just reminded me about my bet, and I’m a man of my word. For these guys I’ll do anything. So I decided to cut my hair.

“Damian Willemse sat me down and cut my hair. I’ve had a few compliments from all my friends, and my wife also says it’s not too bad. As long as she’s happy, I’m happy.”

Kolbe’s fight with the flag

Cheslin Kolbe and the Bok players
The Boks, including Cheslin Kolbe with the flag draped over his shoulder, celebrate their victory. Picture: Juan Jose Gasparini/Gallo Images

Kolbe was then asked about his battle with the South African flag during the trophy-awarding ceremony on Saturday night. When Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis trophy the wind blew it around the winger’s head, obscuring his face from the countless photos taken of the moment.

“I was fighting with the South African flag. I’m not in the photo, but I’ll take wearing that flag and having it on the chest. I had a fight with the flag around my face. It means the world to us as players. We represent the South African people wherever we go,” said Kolbe.

Kolisi also couldn’t hide his amusement of the moment, having a hearty laugh while adding: “You were fighting for your life. We were laughing the whole time after someone sent a video to the group. The best part about it is he was still celebrating even after it happened.”

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