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'What the hell is that smell?': Schalk Burger reveals his Bok teammate's pre-game disaster

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Former flanker Schalk Burger, who played 86 test matches for the Springboks, has shared an embarrassing story of sorts about his former teammate and good friend Jean de Villiers.

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The former Springbok captain spent a number of years rooming together with Burger with the two forming a close relationship over their long careers together.

Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod, Burger gave a first hand experience with De Villiers in 2007 when the Springboks hosted England for two tests in June ahead of what would be a rematch in the Rugby World Cup final months later.

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“I shared a room with Jean de Villiers for yonks,” Burger told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod panel.

“He’s such a decent bloke but give him two beers and he turns into something else. He goes absolutely ballistic.

Burger recounted the story of De Villiers dressing room accident moments before the side took the field in Bloemfontein to play the touring English.

De Villiers experienced what can only be described as a ‘code brown wardrobe malfunction’ after failing to heed the advice of Burger who warned the midfielder something bad would happen.

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“My favourite story about him is actually on field. We were roommates and we were playing in Bloemfontein in 2007, just before the World Cup against England,” he recounted.

“Place was absolutely packed, 45,000 people there. He’s lying next to me and he used to wear these tight medic pants, and the white Springbok shorts.

“He’s lying there letting out some big farts and I’m like, ‘partner, this is not going to end well’, one of them is definitely going to follow through.

“My words weren’t even out of my mouth, I could hear something just go, straight through.

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“The sheer panic on this bloke’s face, he didn’t know whether he could get up, he’s got white shorts on.

“The assistant coach Gert Smal comes to him and says ‘Jean, you’ve really got to call through to the forwards’ before he’s like ‘what the hell is that smell?

“The panic when he [De Villiers] got up, he took like two steps and everything started running down his legs.”

The incident threw Burger off his game so much he was still thinking about it on the field after the kick-off.

“I could not recover in time for the game, I took the first kick-off giggling. How could I experience this happening.”

“He had to sprint off the pitch and get the team manager to get a new set of jumpers.

“It was absolutely incredible to witness.”

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