Angry Springbok fans see red

The new red and gold Springbok jersey has been revealed as an April Fools' prank.

The new red and gold Springbok jersey has been revealed as an April Fools' prank.

JOHANNESBURG - Enraged Springbok fans, stand down. The announcement that the Bokke would be donning a new red and gold jersey kit has been confirmed by commercial sponsor Absa Bank as an April Fools' joke.

Eyewitness News was in on the prank and this morning revealed the new-look jersey to replace the traditional green and gold with red and gold.

It was reported that the colour change formed part of the decision to rebrand the team as the "Rooibokke" as a result of Absa's official sponsorship of the national side.

Former captain Corne Krige as well as current player Pierre Spies played along.

Krige said while the decision surprised him, he felt fans would quickly get behind the Rooibokke.

"Going from green and gold to red and gold isn't the end of the world. I think in future kids will be dreaming about playing in red and gold. As we long as we keep the Springbok emblem, it doesn't matter."

Spies jokingly told Eyewitness News the news came out of the blue.

"It's a massive shock to all of us and times are changing in South Africa but the most important thing is that the badge of the Springbok is still on it and that's what represents our rugby in the country. Obviously we're sad we lost the green and gold but we have to adjust to the new one."

But loyal fans who believed the news took to Twitter to voice their anger.

The new Springbok jersey makes me wish I had Ebola. #RooiBokke

@AndriesLodder @jonohoya @SArugbyNEWS seems SARU have sold the soul of rugby to ABSA #springbok #jersey #rubbish

I'm shocked. I guess money is more important than tradition in the business of sport. RT @EWNsport: #Rooibokke What do you think?

Absa later confirmed the announcement was in fact part of a campaign designed to raise awareness for its sponsorship of the Springboks and the imminent launch of the new kit for the 2014 season.