When Mandela visited the Springboks at Silvermine Nature Reserve, one of the players - Hennie le Roux - was so impressed with the President that he gave the leader his Springbok cap. Mandela frequently wore it thereafter.
John Carlin, author of Playing the Enemy, interviewed le Roux and was very touched by him and his observations about Mandela. As Carlin notes, in the book's introduction:
". . . I started seeing people specifically with this book in mind only after I had talked to Mandela, beginning with a star of that championship Springbok team named Hennie le Roux.
He was awarded a trophy for his contribution to South African Rugby in 2000
Hennie was at the heart of change when Rugby turned professional and he founded the South African Rugby Players Association.
Hennie considers himself privileged to have met Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Mat Damon during the film shoot of INVICTUS.
Clint Eastwood was the director of the film which reflects the role that the President, Nelson Mandela and the 1995 rugby World Cup Team played in unifying what was at the time, a divided Country.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film stars Morgan Freeman as the South African President Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the South African team captain. The story is based on the John Carlin book;
Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation.
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