South Africa captain Siya Kolisi spoke passionately after his side were crowned world champions about the impact the win would have in the country.
Rassie Erasmus’ side recorded a 32-12 win over England following a phenomenal performance, backboned by their dominance at the set-piece.
Makazole Mapimpi became the first man to score a try for South Africa in a World Cup final before the impressive Cheslin Kolbe sealed the victory with his side’s second in the 74th minute.
Speaking immediately, after the game, Kolisi spoke about the challenges South Africa face and shared his hope that the win would unite the country once again.
“I’m so grateful for everything this team has been through, we’ve faced a lot of challenges but the people of South Africa got in behind us and we are so grateful.
"We have so many problems in our country. But to have a team like this, we come from different backgrounds, different races and we came together with one goal."
— eir Sport (@eirSport) November 2, 2019
“We have so many problems in our country, but to have a team like this, we come from different backgrounds, different races but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it.
“I really hope we’ve shown South Africa that we can pull together to achieve something.
Kolisi is the first black man to captain the Springboks and following his heroic performance, he was quick to thank the people of South Africa for their support of all of the team.
“Since I’ve been alive, I have never seen South Africa like this. In 1995, we saw what the World Cup did for us. Now, with all the challenges, the coach came and told us at the last game, ‘we’re not playing for us anymore, we’re playing for everyone back home’.
“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 any more, 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.”