The rugby union team from South Africa has returned home from France following their historic fourth World Cup triumph.
South Africa are the most successful side, having won four of their eight Rugby World Cup appearances.
They won the 2023 Rugby World on Saturday, October 29, following an exciting match against New Zealand.
Despite being almost accustomed to winning the World Cup, enormous crowds of fervent supporters greeted the players on Tuesday at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport.
Hours before the team, known as the Springboks, arrived, hundreds of supporters were dancing, singing the national anthem, and waving flags in the OR Tambo arrivals hall.
South Africa’s enthusiasm for the World Cup is so great that enthusiasts who braved the chilling weather in the area were given free airport transportation by the high-speed commuter train that runs between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The supporters of the Springboks were so excited about the win that some parents had to withdraw their children from schools to welcome the team back to the country.
When the team arrived at the crowded airport premises filled with jubilant fans, the captain of the team, Siya Kolisi raised the trophy to the supporters and ignited more excitement.
Afterward, he told journalists that their victory at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France was not for the players but for South Africans.
“We made a decision that we had already one the World Cup in 2019 – it’s not about us as players anymore,” he said.
“We wanted to make sure that this one is for the people of South Africa. This one is for every single person in South Africa. Rich, poor… it doesn’t matter where you come from.
“This trophy is also for people who come from tough circumstances in disadvantaged areas – areas that are not well resourced.
“For the kid who sits in Zwide, who sits in Goodwood, who sits in Malmesbury… this is for you because we come from those environments, we come from those backgrounds.”