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One year on from RWC victory and Siya’s Boks continue to inspire the nation

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Today (November 2) marks the one-year anniversary of the Springboks’ memorable 32-12 victory over England in the International Stadium Yokohama in Japan.

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa with head coach Rassie Erasmus and Siya Kolisi lift the Rugby World Cup trophy during the South Africa World Cup Trophy tour. Picture: Reuters

CAPE TOWN – The Springboks’ memorable 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC) victory continues to inspire South Africans a full year after that memorable final in Japan.

Although the Springboks were unable to play any Test rugby this year because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, South Africans are in for a bumper 2021 rugby year, says SA Rugby President Mark Alexander.

Today (November 2) marks the one-year anniversary of the Springboks’ memorable 32-12 victory over England in the International Stadium Yokohama in Japan.

Captain Siya Kolisi and his teammates became the third Springbok team to lift the coveted Webb Ellis Cup following victories in 1995 and 2007.

The victory in Tokyo capped a memorable year for the Springboks, who were also crowned as the 2019 Castle Lager Rugby Championship winners. The South African rugby team was also awarded the prestigious 2019 Laureus Team of the Year Award in Monaco.

The SA Rugby President praised Rassie Erasmus (now Director of Rugby), his coaching staff and the entire squad for the joy they brought to the people of South Africa by bringing the RWC trophy home.

South Africa’s then head coach Rassie Erasmus celebrates with the Webb Ellis trophy after winning the World Cup against England in Yokohama, Japan. Picture: Matthew Childs, Reuters

“That magnificent victory once more showed that sport can be a great tool for social cohesion in our country,” said Alexander. “The past year was obviously a difficult year because of the pandemic, but next year we are in for a bumper rugby year when the Boks will play against the best of the UK and Ireland.

“I have no doubt they will continue to make this nation very proud with their performances on the field. On behalf of the South African rugby fraternity, I want to say once more thank you to the Springboks for inspiring so many of our people.”

Erasmus, in turn, praised his full squad that went to Japan, saying every member – from players to management – deserves tremendous credit for their wonderful achievement.

“It was a full-on team effort, from players to coaches and management staff – they all worked incredibly hard and made many sacrifices to make that success a reality,” said Erasmus.

Erasmus said that looking back one year later, he is still amazed at the huge impact the victory had on all South Africans.

Springbok captan Siya Kholisi showing off the Web Ellis trophy to supporters. Picture: Dimpho Maja, African News Agency (ANA)

“It’s astonishing, really. I will never forget the amazing welcome scenes at the airport, or the many thousands of people that came out to share in the team’s joy during the victory parades.

“And, one year later, people still say how they enjoyed the win and how proud they are of that achievement,” added Erasmus.