Eden Park history awaits Claassen

Wed, 05 Jun 2013 15:17
It's a bit of history and it's very, very special to me

French loose forward Antonie Claassen will visit Eden Park for the first time this weekend, a place his father, Wynand, knew well.

Wynand Claassen captained the Springbok side that went into the infamous 'Flour Bomb Test' in New Zealand needing to win at Eden Park to clinch the series. The All Blacks clinched a tight 25-22 win on the day to claim a 2-1 series win.

The events of that day did not affect Claassen directly but he has learnt about what his father and that South African team wanted to do on that tour.

Claassen told NZN: "It's a bit of history and it's very, very special to me."

Claassen's father, who is still actively involved in rugby in South Africa, remembers the events well and enjoyed the experience of playing rugby in New Zealand.

"He loved the whole thing, the whole experience about it.

"I know it divided the country into two camps, all the protests and everything, but they came over to play rugby, they didn't come over here with any political thoughts," Claassen added.

Playing for his adopted France, Claassen will be experiencing New Zealand conditions for the first time since he toured with his high school in 2001.

Although Claassen will not be involved in the match this weekend due to his late arrival in New Zealand after he helped Castres' defeat the star-studded Toulon to lift the French Top 14. He is not too worrited about the fact that he will not be running out this weekend.

"Playing the final in France and winning it was an amazing experience.

"You can't ask for too much," he said.