Mr Oregan Hoskins, President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), on Friday congratulated Annelee Murray, the Springboks’ PR and Administration Manager, on what will be her 150th Test with the team on Saturday, when South Africa take on Argentina at FNB Stadium as part of the Nelson Mandela Sport & Culture Day.
The special milestone, in the opening round of The Castle Lager Rugby Championships, has a remarkable symmetry as Murray made her “Test debut” against Argentina in 2000.
“Almost anywhere you go in the rugby world, people will know who Annelee is,” said Mr Hoskins. “It’s a remarkable achievement for Annelee to be involved in the game for so long. It says an enormous amount about her dedication to her work and the team that she has been part of the Springbok set-up for so long. We would like to congratulate her on this superb milestone and thank her for her services to rugby in South Africa.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, who made his Test debut in 2002, said: “I can't imagine the Springbok team without her!
“She makes sure that all the players are happy, that the wives are happy and that everything happens smoothly. She's really the mom of the team – a great person and friend!”
During her time with the Springboks, Annelee has seen more than 12,000 minutes of Test rugby being played, which equates to eight days and eight hours of continuous Test rugby.
She has worked with seven Springbok captains – André Vos, Bob Skinstad, Corné Krige, John Smit, Victor Matfield, Johann Muller and Jean de Villiers – and has “faced” 20 international opponents in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy, Ireland, USA, Namibia, Canada, the British & Irish Lions, Georgia, Uruguay, Japan, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the Pacific Islands.
She has been part of Springbok teams that have played in cities as far as Dunedin in the south east, Houston and Mendoza in the west and Edinburgh in the north.