Joel Stransky: Maturity brought perspective to significance of 1995 heroics

Joel Stransky (Gallo)
Joel Stransky (Gallo)

Springbok 1995 World Cup hero Joel Stransky says that maturity has helped bring a renewed appreciation of the significance of what happened that year.

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It was Stransky's famous Ellis Park drop goal in extra-time of that year's final against the All Blacks that secured the Boks a 15-12 win and their first ever Webb Ellis trophy in what was their maiden appearance at the global showpiece. 

Given that it came a little more than a year after Nelson Mandela started his term as the first democratically elected President of the country, it would go down as one of the most important sporting achievements in South African history. 

Images of Mandela and Springbok captain Francois Pienaar lifting the trophy together would become iconic, but Stransky says the meaning of what was achieved that day has changed with perspective. 

"As you look back with a bit more maturity, you come to realise the significance of the achievement," he said on the latest episode of the SA Rugby podcast

"We did something that was incredibly special for our country at the time, and that the greatest leader of all time, Madiba, used to unite a nation and bring people from a whole lot of different lifestyles and cultures together, and if I look back, that is probably the most significant thing and what brings those warm and fuzzy feelings."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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