The Springboks arrived on June 27, 1965 from Brisbane via Auckland at Gisborne, where they were warmly welcomed by about 2000 people. There were a few protestors with posters against the tour, but the warmth and enthusiasm of the reception left the South African with a warm feeling around the heart. Dawie de Villiers and Nellie Smith, utterly sincere, smiled and said it was like coming home.
There was also an official Maori welcome which the Springboks thoroughly enjoyed as can be seen in the pictures below.
The next day the Springboks had a hard training session under the supervision of Hennie Muller and in the process wrote off both Piet Botha and Doug Hopwood. One get the impression that the Springboks training sessions were not really organized and well managed and with the media attention on the quality of their practice runs the players and coaching staff were probably trying to impress/change perceptions and overdid it. Botha plunged so hard into a ruck that he dislocated his shoulder (6 weeks out of action) and Hopwood hurt his back and the diagnosis was that he was out for the rest of the tour; he was admitted to Gisborne hospital.