Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and lock Eben Etzebeth on Friday visited 15-year-old Rowan Hermanus at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
Hermanus, a pupil at Swartland High School in Malmesbury, suffered a serious neck injury during a match on Saturday, August 4.
The visit was organised by BokSmart and the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players Fund and Rowan was surprised when both Meyer and the imposing Etzebeth walked into his ward.
They brought him a number of gifts, including a Springbok jersey signed by the squad that had been preparing for Saturday’s historic first Test in The Castle Rugby Championship against Argentina at DHL Newlands.
“We aim to make a difference to people’s lives and it was a huge privilege to visit Rowan in hospital today,” said Meyer.
“It was great to see his extremely positive attitude and we wish both him and his family well for the future.”
Rowan, who is also a very good cricketer, said: “Hopefully I can watch the Test on television or listen to it on radio. This visit is very special and I really appreciate it. I’m staying positive and will work very hard to make sure I walk out of the hospital soon.”
Dr Wayne Viljoen, BokSmart Manager, said the Springboks’ visit shows that we are all part of one big rugby family, and they really care about all rugby players that pick up injuries of this nature.
“Rowan is an amazing young boy and very positive,” said Viljoen.
“He got injured in a very unfortunate tackle situation, but for us the message is ultimately about preventing these type of injuries, which is why we are constantly working on getting the BokSmart programme as scientifically up to date and relevant to the current rugby landscape in South Africa as possible.”