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#RWC10 Bismarck: I cried when not named for squad

When Pierre Spies fell ill ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Bismarck du Plessis was eventually drafted into the squad. He talks about how it all happened.

FILE: Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis at a training session. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Hooker Bismarck du Plessis is one of South Africa’s finest ever hookers, but he almost didn’t make it to the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

When Pierre Spies went down with illness, Du Plessis was eventually drafted into the squad. He talks about the how it all happened.

"I remember we were training in Durban and the squad was going to be announced in Cape Town. You were supposed to get an SMS to tell you what time the bus leaves and I never got that SMS. The people left, I stayed in Durban and cried myself to bed that night. That Saturday we (the Sharks) played against the Bulls, I had a fairly good game."

However, his fortunes changed that same weekend when he got the call from the Springbok management.

"That Sunday, everything started happening for me and I got pulled into the squad, Pierre (Spies) got injured and the rest is history. I played every game except one. I’m really thankful for the opportunity that I got to be able to be part of that."

Du Plessis went from not being into the squad to playing in every World Cup match bar one. His brother Jannie was also drafted into the side quite late after prop BJ Botha suffered an injury against the USA.

The hooker, who was capped 79 times for the national side, was known for his brute strength and aggression. Du Plessis says that France, as a country, is very significant for him personally.

"Whenever I see people in France they always remember you for that. I think that’s also why we enjoy France so much more because it gives you a lot of memories. I remember playing in Montpellier against the USA and our doctor at the club was the doctor of the game and I injured my back that day and he was the guy who took care of me."

He now plays his rugby in France for Montpellier. Former Bok coach Jake White was in charge of the side last season.

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