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AS IT HAPPENED | Rassie and team share messages of hope as they arrive home as victors

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05 Nov 2019

OR Tambo International Airport was the sight of jubilant and celebratory displays of national pride and unity on Tuesday as the mighty Springboks returned home from their successful world cup campaign on Tuesday.

Greeted by a deluge supporters and fans, the arrivals area of the airport was awash in the green and gold with the sounds of vuvuzelas, singing, music and merriment as the Bokke touched down. 

The players and head coach Rassie Erasmus all had wonderful, insightful and oft humorous things to say.   

Speaking about the first try scored by a South African player in the World Cup final Makazole Mapimpi said: "It's amazing. I couldn't believe it all night."

Mapimpi thanked South Africa for rallying behind the team during the tournament, saying it was because of this support they were able to come home as world champions.

"There are young boys who saw what happened. I also couldn't believe that I would make it in the Springboks team and World Cup, but it was a blessing [that I made it]," the emotional winger said.

His teammate, Cheslin Kolbe - who added to the score with an electrifying try of his own - said crossing the white line was not as easy as it looked.

"Thank you so much for the support. We really appreciate [it] as a team and just to come back to South Africa to celebrate this moment with each and every person is humbling.''

The small-for-a-rugby-player right wing said ''this game has a shape and size for each and every player, doesn't matter where you come from, what size you are or how much you weigh. 

''I'm a firm believer that if you have the right attitude, the right heart you can achieve much more,'' said Kolbe.

Coach Rassie, arriving sometime later, with Kolisi and Web Ellis Cup in toe had an important message. 

Asked if he had a particular birthday wish, the humble coach responded that ''what we want to keep on lasting is what we're seeing here at the airport''.

''If I can have another wish on my birthday it is to really use this victory as a springboard to ensure that we don't lose again some of the other things we had 2007 and 1995 and really use it this time to make sure that all the things that we missed out previously that we don't miss it this time.''

"We have to focus on making sure that everybody gets equal chances of playing, everybody gets good nutrition and everybody gets a fair chance and there are so many things that we have to fix, we can't just focus on the Springboks.'' 

''There are so many bigger things that we have to fix,'' said the World Rugby Coach of the Year.

The man of the moment, Siya Kolisi, had some inspiring words for the youth of South Africa. 

''Anything can be overcome with opportunity,'' said Kolisi.

He continued saying ''we obviously don't want it to be so tough for everybody else and we're hoping things will get better for everybody in future but I mean if a guy like Mapimpi can come from where he comes from and make it, it just shows you it is possible''.

The captain added that ''the most important thing is that you never listen to someone who says you can't make it, you're not going to make it. It's up to you and you alone.''

''I just want to tell the kids they must just keep dreaming and believing and keep on pushing.''

HERE'S WHERE TO SEE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS

05 Nov 2019

World Cup win a victory and motivation for young boys back in EC - Makazole Mapimpi

Makazole Mapimpi, the first South African to score a try in a Rugby World Cup final, says the win is a huge victory and motivation for the youth of the Eastern Cape, especially his home village, Tsholomnqa. 

READ MORE

05 Nov 2019

Erasmus says ''what we want to keep on lasting is what we're seeing here at the airport''. 

''If I can have another wish on my birthday it is to really use this victory as a springboard to ensure that we don't lose again some of the other things we had 2007 and 1995 and really use it this time to make sure that all the things that we missed out previously that we don't miss it this time.''

"We have to focus on making sure that everybody gets equal chances of playing, everybody gets good nutrition and everybody gets a fair chance and there are so many things that we have to fix, we can't just focus on the Springboks.'' 

 ''There are so many bigger things that we have to fix,'' he says. 

05 Nov 2019

Erasmus says that ''after the first All Black test match we lost I felt we had a terrible week. We sat down and were honest with each other and spoke about what pressure really was. Pressure in SA isn't really what people in New Zealand and England have."

05 Nov 2019

Siya Kolisi and Rassie Erasmus address the nation. Kolisi says ''[the support] gave us another reason to fight harder. We knew what was going on back home.'' 

05 Nov 2019

While we wait for the Captain to disembark let's remind you about his rise to this moment. 

READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE

05 Nov 2019

'When you are happy you do crazy things' - Springbok fans welcome their heroes back

05 Nov 2019

Springboks supporters are still awaiting the arrival of the last batch of players which include captain Siya Kolisi and Russie Erasmus. 

05 Nov 2019

Twitter reacts as Springboks arrive on home soil

The sounds of cheering and song filled the air at OR Tambo International Airport as the Springboks touched down in South Africa and naturally, Twitter went into overdrive for the occasion.

READ MORE

05 Nov 2019

"This game has a shape and size for each and every player...if you have the right attitude and the right heart you can achieve [anything]." says Cheslin Kolbe. He says "it doesn't matter how big or how small you are " and that "there are ways to prove people wrong" as he speaks about being a rugby player of smaller stature.

05 Nov 2019

Hier kom die bokke! Another group of players have arrived to jubilant crowds of supporters at OR Tambo International Airport.

05 Nov 2019

PICS | Durban artists surprise morning motorists with Siya Kolisi, Springboks victory mural

Within 24-hours of South Africa winning the Rugby World Cup, a group of Durban artists put their creative juices together to pay homage to a legendary victory.

SEE THE MURAL
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