Rugby World Cup: South Africa’s 2019 win is bigger than 1995 – Francois Pienaar
South Africa’s Rugby World Cup triumph in 2019 eclipses the side’s success in 1995, according to former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar.
Pienaar was presented with the William Webb Ellis Cup by president Nelson Mandela in an iconic moment in the nation’s post-apartheid history.
“This is bigger,” said Pienaar.
“It is a transformed team with 58 million people watching in South Africa, all races wearing green, which wouldn’t have happened in my time.”
In the apartheid era, during which black South Africans were barred from opportunities and public facilities by a political system of racial segregation, rugby was seen by many as the sport of the country’s minority white community.
The Springboks’ opportunities were limited by an international boycott of the country, with their opponents often supported by the black majority population in the few fixtures they did play.
However, their victory over England on Saturday, led by captain Siya Kolisi who grew up in poverty in a Port Elizabeth township, was greeted by scenes of jubilation across South African society.
“We had an incredible moment with Mr Mandela but just the support from the nation for this and team and captain,” added Pienaar…….read more