As the EP Kings prepare to face-off against a formidable Welsh side in an international friendly that will set the tone for months of world-class rugby at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, some fans face a dilemma of national proportion.
Well – at least that’s what the Jones’ feel as the family prepare to have their loyalties tested ahead of next Tuesday’s game. Mother and son duo are completely split down the middle as to who they will be supporting.
Roberta Jones falls squarely on the side of her home country, Wales, and her son James, who has lived in South Africa from the age of one, is fully supportive of the EP Kings, representing his adopted home country and the local side.
“I’ve been living in South Africa for 22 years, and even though I’m Welsh at heart, if South Africa plays any other country, I am one hundred percent behind them. But I’m a passionate Welsh supporter and South Africa – and the EP Kings – is no match for my loyalties. I am positive that Wales will absolutely trounce the Kings,” said Roberta.
James on the other hand says he can’t resolve not supporting the home side: “Although I was born in Swansea, I was formed in South Africa, PE in particular, the EP Kings might be the underdogs in this match, but they fully have my support.”
The rugby alliances are causing some friendly competition in the household, Roberta added, clinging to her good luck emblem, a daffodil – the official Welsh flower, while James sports his Kings jersey around the house to rile his mother up.
Although the Jones’ will feel right at home amongst the Welsh team who boast three players with the surname Jones:
- Prop Adam Jones – 33
- Prop Rhodri Jones – 22
- Loack and Captain Alun Wyn Jones – 28
The Jones household is not the only one to be divided over the coming game. Katherine Liebenberg was brought up as a “thorough-bred” Wales supporter by her late Welsh father, David Turner, a staunch devotee of the ‘Dragons’.
“My dad was Welsh and we were brought up supporting Wales through thick and thin, even when they played South Africa. We always promised him that we would continue the tradition and keep the Welsh flag flying in the family,” she said.
“We are definitely going to watch the game and although I don’t know much about the Welsh side playing on Tuesday, but I have my Welsh jersey on proudly in memory of my dad. My husband, however, will not be joining me – as an Afrikaner he has an obligation to support the South African side. But at least he and my father always had a shared love of rugby. No matter the side they supported and they never missed a game.”
Wales take on the EP Kings on Tuesday June 10 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 7pm. Tickets are available at the stadium or from Computicket and prices range from R50 to R110. For queries contact 041 408 8900.
Meanwhile the Get the Ticket campaign for a package of top-flight rugby matches, which includes the Wales game, the International Test Match between South Africa and Scotland and all the EP Kings Currie Cup Premier Division home matches is still on sale for just R500.
The Springboks play two tests against Wales:
- 14 June 2014 – Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
- 21 June 2014 – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
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