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Celebrate South African Rugby With Matt Damon In 'Invictus'

December 11, 2009 at 9:09 AM | by | ()

Clint Eastwood's soon-to-be-Oscar-nominated film Invictus opens nationwide today. In the movie, Eastwood takes on the daunting task of telling the story of the first few months of Nelson Mandela's South African presidency, including his struggle to get the country's black majority to rally around the nearly all-white Springboks national rugby team, in the hope that it would unite the nation. Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) first made an example of himself by befriending the team's captain, Francois Pienaar (played by Matt Damon). He then cheered along with the rest of the country as the Springboks went on to defeat the New Zealand All Blacks and win the 1995 World Cup.

The Springboks are still a big deal in South Africa and are currently the holders of the Rugby World Cup and the Tri-Nations Championship. Even though it's off-season, the team is taking their trophies on the road. The tour will start in Cape Town on Friday, February 5 and make its way through all 14 provinces with over 116 stops, including 50 schools as well as clubs and shopping centers. You can get a schedule of the tour and ticket information for next season on The Springboks' official website.

If watching rugby in a pub is more your style, Perserverance Tavern, or ”Percies” to the locals, is one of the best spots in Cape Town to have a pint and watch a game. You can soak up some of that alcohol with one of Percies' pub food staples like fish and chips, bangers and mash or deep fried calamari, from noon to 10 PM daily too.

Though its unclear exactly where Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman stayed while filming Invictus in Cape Town, it wouldn't be surprising to find they were holed up in the new One and Only Cape Town. Every room in the ultra posh retreat has a large private balcony, 24/7 butler service, and in-room spa services. Rates start around $550 per night.

Related Stories:
· 'Invictus' is another victory for Eastwood [USA Today]
· Matt Damon Good Will Hunting In South Africa [Jaunted]
· Movie Set Travel Coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Matt Damon Column]

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