Home Rugby World Cup 2023 Thus far the Springboks’ World Cup after-party has been epic

Thus far the Springboks’ World Cup after-party has been epic

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From Cheslin Kolbe ‘fighting for his life’ with the SA flag, to Eben Etzebeth’s last drinking water during the match, here are the lighter moments of the Springboks’ arrival press conference.

South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe celebrates with the Webb Ellis Cup following victory in the Rugby World Cup 2023 final match at the Stade de France in Paris, France
From Cheslin Kolbe (pictured) ‘fighting for his life’ with the SA flag, to Eben Etzebeth’s last drinking water during the match, here are the lighter moments of the Rugby World Cup final. Picture: David Davies/BackPagePix

Cheslin Kolbe may have been one of the stars for the Springboks during the Rugby World Cup, but his celebrations with the Webb Ellis trophy after the game didn’t quite go according to plan.

Following their victory in the final over New Zealand in Paris on Saturday, Kolbe somehow found himself with the SA flag wrapped around his face as the Springboks jumped for joy in their trophy celebration picture on stage.

The wing was seen comically fighting with the flag while he battled to uncover his face for what would become a historic picture.

Alas, he could not free himself in time and fans were left with a hilarious video instead.

Hoarse voice

“Sorry for my voice,” Kolbe said in a rather hoarse voice – probably from celebrating too hard – at a press conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, as the Springboks returned to SA soil.

Kolbe was also seen at the press conference with his shoulders still strapped up, meaning he probably still hadn’t showered after the game.

“I was fighting with the South African flag. I’m not in the photo, but I’ll take wearing that flag and having it on your chest. I had a fight with the flag around my face. It means the world to us as players. We represent the South African people wherever we go.”

Captain Siya Kolisi chimed in: “You were fighting for your life.”

Also on a lighter note, burly lock Eben Etzebeth revealed that he had promised fellow forward RG Snyman that he would cut his hair in the same style if the Springboks won the tournament.

And in a moment of inebriation during the celebrations after the final, Etzebeth said he would go through with the haircut.

‘We weren’t drinking water’

“About five weeks ago, me and RG Snyman spoke on the bus. I said if we win the World Cup, I’ll cut my hair the same as yours. After the win in the final, it was about 4.30am, and the last time I drank water was in the game – so we weren’t drinking water,” said Etzebeth.

“He then just reminded me about my bet, and I’m a man of my word. For these guys I’ll do anything. So I decided to cut my hair.

“Damian Willemse sat me down and cut my hair. I’ve had a few compliments from all my friends, and my wife also says it’s not too bad. As long as she’s happy, I’m happy.”

It was nearly a very different night for Kolbe though, as he was yellow carded during the final stages of the game. He was seen with his head in his jersey, and confirmed he did not watch any of the game while he was sitting on the sidelines as the contest drew to a close.

“Getting a yellow card was disappointing. You drop the whole team, the whole country in moments like that in the final. I didn’t watch the final few minutes of the game, I’ve only seen videos since,” said Kolbe.

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