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Bobby Skinstad: 'One very freaky story haunts me to this day'

By Liam Heagney
Springboks back-rower Bobby Skinstad at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France (Photo by Tertius Pickard/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Former Springboks skipper Bobby Skinstad has given a riveting tell-all interview about his life and times, including his “very freaky” consultation with a psychic which he claims still haunts him to this day.

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The 47-year-old was the guest on episode 230 of Eventful Lives with Dodge Woodall, the founder of the famed Bournemouth 7s Festival which is set to be staged on May 24-26.

The compelling 85-minute interview covered a myriad of topics, including growing up in South Africa after his family fled Zimbabwe, racism, Nelson Mandela, and Skinstad’s infamous 1999 car crash after an angry exchange with Justin Marshall.

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He also speaks about how much he “hated” Rassie Erasmus as they were rivals for a jersey in the Springboks back row, why he quit playing in the UK at the height of his rugby fame, and whether Siya Kolisi could potentially have a post-rugby career in South African politics.

Skinstad also elaborated at length about winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup, about how he played in the quarter-final and semi-final only to be dropped by Jake White for the final in Paris versus England.

He further revealed his encounter with a psychic who foresaw his return to playing at the elite level and that it would culminate in glory with the Springboks.

Having missed the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia due to injury, Skinstad packed himself off to Wales and a short-lived stint at the Dragons which he abruptly ended so that he could move to London to work in business and play at grassroots level with Richmond.

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On a trip home, he was convinced by a friend to consult a psychic, and what she predicted still sends a shiver down his spine. “I’ll tell you a very freaky story, one freaky story which haunts me to this day and I never revisited it,” he told an intrigued Woodall.

“A friend of mine had a mum who used to consult a psychic. From South Africa, she moved to Malta. You have to give her your date of birth and all these facts and she would do a 45-minute chat with you and then she would say what I see for you in the future.

“Ninety-nine per cent of that is bullshit and most people don’t believe in it and I didn’t and I’ve consulted her once. I got injured after the 2003 World Cup and I went on a holiday to South Africa during that time.

“He said to me, ‘Why don’t you phone her and ask her what she sees for the future?’ I said, ‘No, I’m happy. I don’t need to.’ He set it up. I phoned her and she said, ‘I see there is this big trophy, this World Cup that you are winning.’

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“I said, ‘That’s impossible because I don’t play so I can’t do it’ and I never thought about it again. And she wrote down the thing and she posted it to me after we won in 2007. She said, ‘You don’t know now but you are going to go back and you’re going to win a World Cup for South Africa.’

“I was like, ‘One, there is no chance it’s going to be me. Two, there’s no chance that we have got a chance because these coaches haven’t been together.’

“I went through all these reasons why not and she wrote this paragraph and it freaks me it. About a month after the final it arrived in the post. She said, ‘I was just going through some notes that I wrote when we were chatting’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’”

  • Click here to listen to Bobby Skinstad on Eventful Lives with Dodge Woodall 
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