Excited squeals, camera flashes and a band decked out in gold and green sequin suits greeted the Springboks as they arrived in New Zealand yesterday.

Scores of fans waited for over an hour in the Auckland International Airport arrivals lounge for the team's delayed flight before they were able to mingle with the sports stars.

South African expat Dolph Louw, who has lived in Auckland for six years, managed to dress his wife, Anne Brichell, and two Kiwi-born sons, Leo, 2, and Cameron, 4, in Springbok colours for the occasion.

"For now they are Springboks fans, it's probably only a matter of time before they grow up and support the All Blacks," he said.


The family were excited to meet and have their photo taken with captain Jean de Villiers, who signed their shirts and told them it meant a lot to the team to be greeted by fans on foreign soil.

"It's fantastic, we come here quite often and it's always good to see South Africans here supporting us," he said. "It makes life a bit easier when you know there's people backing you when we're playing in New Zealand."

Expatriate band The Dukes played a range of traditional South African and popular songs to keep the waiting crowds entertained - livening up the airport lounge with their music and glittering green and gold suits.