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Tuesday Oct 31, 2023

Watch the incredible scenes as Kolisi returns home with the World Cup trophy

Siya Kolisi has returned to South Africa as he receives the rapturous applause of a nation brought together by rugby.

As Kolisi said in his post-match press conference, “There is not a lot of things going right in our country and we have the privilege to be able to do what we love and inspire people in life, not just sports people”. The sport of rugby, and this win in particular, has come a long way to help bring a nation some optimism.

As the Springboks returned to Kempton Park in South Africa, the impact of the World Cup victory was truly noticeable for the first time. An incredible crowd arrived at the airport to welcome the lads back in scenes that will warm the heart of any South African.

See Kolisi appear with the trophy here:

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Speaking about the impact that this win will have on his team and country, Kolisi said:

“At the last World Cup, the country was hopeful that maybe there was a chance we could win it and what transpired afterwards was the belief between this team.

“There is not a lot of things going right in our country and we have the privilege to be able to do what we love and inspire people in life, not just sports people.

“Where I come from I couldn’t dream I could be here today. We come from different walks of life. I had my own goals and ambitions. I want to look after my family, I want to give back to my community. You need to come and see South Africa to understand. When we come together nothing can stop us, not just in sport but also in life.”

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Including the special impact that head coahc Jacques Neinaber has had on his, and his teammates careers, Kolisi address the senior man, saying:

“It hasn’t been an easy journey. I can’t believe what we’ve achieved today. The coaching staff have been ridiculous. I have worked with Jacques since I was 17 years old. I couldn’t tackle. When him and Rassie [Erasmus] used to come to training it was full contact. You had to show that you could do this. 

“Since then, how he used to motivate us in games. We grew up around him – me and Frans [Malherbe], Steven Kitshoff and Pieter-Steph [du Toit]. As I said last week, he cared about us as people. He asks, ‘are you going to let your daughter down, your son down?’ It became far deeper than just a rugby game.

“Jacques, honestly, it’s been a huge honour for me and a huge privilege, and your wife and the kids… I appreciate you. We love you as a team, not as a coach, but as a person. You’ve taken it to another level. The way you speak to us – it’s not ‘make a big hit, make a tackle’, you talk to me as a person, as a father, a husband, as a son, it goes such a long way so thank you. We honour you as a team. All the best. They will be lucky too have you wherever you go.”

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