Cape Town — Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Handre Pollard, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Faf de Klerk and their Springbok colleagues will be lacing up for rugby battle this year with pictures of thousands of Springbok fans on their backs thanks to the launch of a new campaign on Wednesday.
Supporters are being invited to visibly rally behind the Springboks by submitting their selfies to be placed in the playing number on Springbok jerseys for the entire season, including the Rugby World Cup campaign.
The 'Faces on Numbers' initiative will kick off during the Rugby Championship, when the Springboks will be in action against the Wallabies, All Blacks and Argentina.
The faces of ordinary supporters, family members, media and celebrity fans will be inserted into the playing number of team jerseys for the forthcoming two home Test matches, against the Wallabies on Saturday, July 20 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg and against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, August 17 in Pretoria.
Kolisi and a number of his Springbok team mates broke away from their training camp in Pretoria to visit Johannesburg-based radio stations on Wednesday morning as part of the Faces on Numbers launch, talking about the project and encouraging the South African public to participate.
"It is an exciting project and what a great way for our fans to show their incredible support for the Springboks. Their faces will be emblazoned on the back of each team player when we play in the Rugby Championship and also in Japan," explained Kolisi.
"I cannot think of a better way for a Springbok enthusiast to show his passion and support for the team. Participation is free and anyone can take part, so I would like to see Springbok supporters from corners of the country jump on-board to be part of this unique experience ."
So how does it work?
The numbers are manufactured through the capturing, collation and production of a collage of photos, inside the numbers of the official team jersey that their Springbok heroes will be wearing on match day.
- It's free for all South Africans and all you need to do is register at www.springboks.rugby
- There are three ways to get your face on a Springbok jersey:
1. By means of a lottery system - you have to register on www.springboks.rugby
2. Winning a spot via the weekly competition on www.springboks.rugby
3. By purchasing a replica Springbok RWC jersey on www.springboks.rugby which will guarantee your spot. Your new jersey will be printed with your photograph on it.
- Supporters can also purchase a limited edition Springbok supporters' jersey with their photograph printed on the back.
- Approximately 10 000 South African faces are needed for the RWC group stage matches, so there are plenty of opportunities for Springbok fans to join and show their support for the team.