Springboks captain John Smit said the team was honoured at their New Zealand welcome. “We really will make Wellington our home, we’ve always been made to feel welcome here.
“We’re proud to be here, we’re proud to represent South Africa and we’ll certainly do our best to represent the 50 million people we play for here on the fields in New Zealand.”
Hundreds of fans and supporters lined the Wellington waterfront as the Boks walked from the TSB Arena down to the wharewaka, flanked by three waka in the harbour, to be received by Te Atiawa iwi representatives and an 80-strong kapa haka group.
Pupils from Wellington Intermediate and St Mary’s Catholic School joined locals and tourists in waving flags and cheering in welcome.