‘On da udder hand Darren’, one of South African rugby’s most oft-quoted sound bites. I guess that’s got a lot to do with the huge popularity of Boots and All, the show that ran for almost 1 000 episodes over its 20-year history.
Well it was announced earlier today that the show will not go on, Supersport confirming some changes to their rugby line up. Here’s that statement from their website:
SuperSport’s own rugby revamp will take place this week with long-standing Boots and All making way for two-part TMO and Phaka, a show dedicated to celebrating black rugby, making its bow.
TMO, a half-hour show on Tuesday and Thursday nights (7pm, SS1), begins this week and will kick off with a review show, followed two days later by a preview of the weekend’s action.
Everyone will still get their fill of the country’s leading pundits, the likes of Nick Mallet and Bobby Skinstad (and yes, Naas) still due to appear on TMO. Some reasoning behind the decision from Louwrens Rensburg, SuperSport’s executive rugby producer:
“Boots and All was a wonderful programme for a long time…But the immediacy of news and the nature of social media made us question the relevance of reviewing rugby on a Thursday, many days after the action. We’re moving with the times and looking for something fresh and exciting.”
Part of the rugby overhaul is the introduction of Phaka, a Xhosa term for “dish up” (as in rugby).
Kaunda Ntunja, a former SA Schools flanker and captain, who later played for the Free State Cheetahs and is now a prominent isiXhosa commentator, will host the show in partnership with Makhaya Jack, one of the patriarchs of black rugby.
The long and storied history of black rugby in this country remains largely overlooked, so that decision can only be applauded as the country seeks to transform the game from grassroots level right through to the national team.
It would probably be fair to say there are a couple of people cursing into their double brandy and coke about their beloved Boots and All getting the can – hang in there liefies, change isn’t always a bad thing.
For old time’s sake here’s some classic Darren and Naas banter:
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