South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus had some inspirational words for his Springbok team ahead of their historic Rugby World Cup victory – revealed captain Siya Kolisi.
Born just a year before the end of Apartheid, Kolisi is the first black man to captain the Springboks in a test rugby match and now the first the win a Rugby World Cup as captain.
“I was grateful for everything the team has been through. We have faced a lot of challenges but the people of South Africa have got behind us and we are so grateful to them.
“We have so many problems in our country, a team like this – we come from different backgrounds, different races – and we came together with one goal. I really hope we have done that for South Africa, to show that we can pull together if we want to achieve something.”
Kolisi also revealed the inspiration words offered up by Erasmus: “Since I have been alive I have never seen South Africa like this. With all the challenges we have, the coach said to us that we are not playing for ourselves anymore, we are playing for the people back home – that is what we wanted to do today.
“We appreciate all the support – people in the taverns, in the shebeens, farms, homeless people – there were screens there – and people in the rural areas. Thank you so much, we appreciate the support. We love you South Africa and we can achieve anything if we work together as one.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 2, 2019
Erasmus thanked the support of all of South Africa on a day he felt proud to be South African.
“Just use our players and use the intelligence we have in South Africa and the supporters we have and all the resources.
“There are so many good things in South Africa but always in the past, we seem to look at all the bad things, we just decided, listen let’s stand together and work really hard and play well on the field and then from that all the other things will come out later and I think that’s what we did and against with that we won the World Cup, so that’s great.”
“The boys believed in themselves, this bunch of guys have been together for 19 weeks, we know one another really well. We got so much respect for England we really prepared well and I think we fought hard till the end, and I’m so proud of them and I think also a little bit fortunate. But we are really enjoying it at this stage.”
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