Springboks: South Africa's symbol of hope

Matt Proudfoot (Getty)
Matt Proudfoot (Getty)

Cape Town - The Springboks know that when they take to the field in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final against England, it will be about more than just rugby. 

That is the view of forwards coach Matt Proudfoot

The Boks, two-time World Cup champions having lifted the trophy in 1995 and 2007, will be representing one of the most passionate groups of supporters in Yokohama. 

Ever since they won the tournament in 1995, rugby in South Africa has been about so much more.

"I think South Africa as a country has got a lot of challenges," said Proudfoot. 

"But we are resilient people. We understand what it means to live at the tip of Africa. But it is a country with a hell of a lot of pride in their national identity.

"I suppose the history and what ’95 meant for the country created a new opportunity for people in South Africa.

"The Springbok is the tool people use as a symbol of hope, a symbol of opportunity. It shows, if you look at the stories of the players in the team, what can be achieved with hard work. I suppose it is wrapped up in the psychology of a lot of people.

"South Africans love the game. We grow up with it in the schools, young boys play it, and it is a highly supported activity back home.

"From a young age, you get indoctrinated into the game, and there is no better symbol. When you see a player become a Springbok, they change, and they pass it on to the country.

"There is a real connection between the Springbok player, and what it means to be a Springbok, and the supporter back home."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:00 (SA time).  

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