Springboks beat Oz cricket team to world honour

2008-02-19 00:00

Award: Boks named world's top team

ST PETERSBURG — South Africa’s brilliant performance last October when they won their second Rugby World Cup and went through the tournament unbeaten has earned them the 2008 Laureus World Team of the Year Award.

Watched by a global television audience, coach Jake White and players Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger, Percy Montgomery and Butch James received the world’s most prestigious sports award from Sean Fitzpatrick and Hugo Porta at the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg, Russia.

Percy Montgomery said: “This award goes to all the players who can’t be here tonight. I’m sure they would all have liked to be here.

"It’s also a tribute to all those who have played for SA since 2004 … We gelled at the right time and that was the key.”

Bryan Habana said: “I was a youngster in 1995 when Joel Stransky kicked that goal over. To carry on my dream we have inspired the rest of a nation. Hopefully we can help to make a better SA for all.”

Laureus Academy member Morné du Plessis and 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning manager said: “The country is really proud of you. Comparisons in the team game are complicated and the game has changed. Both teams have written epic chapters in our rugby history and shown that sport can bring people together.”

The other nominees for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award were Italian football team AC Milan, the Australian cricket team, Ferrari, the German women’s football team and the Iraqi football team.

The Laureus World Sports Awards are the only global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and -women across all sports each year.

The winners are selected by the 43 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a collection of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women.

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