‘The boys are back in town’ – Springboks receive electric welcome

‘The boys are back in town’ – Springboks receive electric welcome

OR Tambo International Airport was a sea of green and gold as fans braved the wet weather to welcome the Rugby World Cup champions back home.

Siya Kolisi Trophy

Thousands of South Africans tussled for the best spot in the crammed arrivals terminal where they hoped to catch a glimpse of the Springbok rugby players as they made their first public appearance on home soil.

South Africa beat New Zealand 12-11 in Paris last Saturday, becoming the team to win the title on four separate occasions, after also winning in 1995, 2007, and 2019.

Suzette Human, the wife of Springbok scrum coach Daan Human, was in Paris for the nail-biting finale and said nothing beats the energy here at home.

“The vibe is much better here than in France, it’s really unbelievable. I think nobody could believe it because we only won with one point again for the third time, but it was a big relief for all of us.”

Johan Wentzel, from Caledon in the Western Cape, said he had no regrets travelling to France to support the national squad.

“We arrived last week Wednesday, we watched the bronze medal match and the final and it was absolutely fantastic. When we won the World Cup, you could hear that my voice had not healed yet. I can’t describe it to anybody. This was my first World Cup and my first final.”

Wentzel said he’s thrilled to see South Africans come out in their numbers.

READ: Kolisi dedicates the World Cup victory to all South Africans

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was first to emerge from the glass doors, where he was met with loud cheers.

The terminal roused to fever pitch, ululating and blowing their Vuvuzelas, as Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup into the air.

The 2022 Gauteng sports fan of the year award winner Nelly Kubayi, and this year’s finalist - Mamelodi Sundowns fan Basetsana Ntsweng - said they although President Cyril Ramaphosa didn’t declare Tuesday a public holiday for them it felt like one.

“The president said there’s no public holiday, but you can see the crowd. We came in the Gautrain, and the vibe on the train was so crazy. South Africa is all happy, today we are all Amabokoboko. We are united,” said a visibly proud Ntsweng.

Another supporter warned future competitors that South Africa will defend their title in 2027 while reminding them to support the Proteas who are scheduled to play against New Zealand at the Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.


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