Thousands of South African fans take to the streets of Pretoria to welcome home their rugby heroes after the Springboks claimed a record-breaking fourth World Cup in France
- South Africa’s rugby stars had an open-top bus parade in Pretoria on Thursday
- Thousands of fan took to the streets to greet them after their World Cup win
- South Africa beat New Zealand in the final to record their fourth World Cup win
South Africa’s rugby stars received a dream homecoming in Pretoria on Thursday as thousands of fans took to the streets to watch their open-top bus parade after winning the World Cup for the fourth time.
The Springboks edged past New Zealand 12-11 in Saturday’s final in Paris after also beating France and England by a single point in their quarter-final and semi-final respectively.
The result meant South Africa became the first nation to win the Rugby World Cup four times as they retained the title they won in 2019.
They have now returned to South Africa, and fans poured out onto the streets to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
South Africa’s influential captain Siya Kolisi took centre stage as he held the Webb Ellis Trophy aloft for supporters to see.
South Africa’s rugby heroes were greeted by thousands of fans on the streets of Pretoria
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi holds aloft the Webb Ellis Trophy during the open-top bus parade
President Cyril Ramaphosa holds the World Cup up as he stands alongside Kolisi (left) and head coach Jacques Nienaber (right)
The decorated captain also posed with Ramaphosa and Nienaber holding a signed jersey
He also posed for pictures with president Cyril Ramaphosa, who held up the World Cup and a jersey signed by all the players, and head coach Jacques Nienaber – who is set to leave his role after the team’s win in France.
All three men addressed the crowd in separate speeches on an emotional day for the South African public.
Kolisi has regularly referred to how rugby brings the country together, and that was clear to see as the fans created a deafening noise as the players moved through Pretoria on their bus.
Full-back Damian Willemse has now won two World Cups at the age of 25 and looked ready to take to the field again as he turned up to the bus parade wearing his full kit from the final.
Damian Willemse (pictured) arrived at the bus parade wearing his full kit from the final
RG Snyman (pictured) doffed his cap to the crowd during the open-top bus parade
South Africa’s infamous ‘Bomb Squad’ made a huge impact during the tournament off the bench, and they were all smiles on Thursday as they greeted fans.
RG Snyman, who scored a crucial try in the semi-final win over England and was reportedly trusted with cutting the hair of several players in the early hours after their World Cup win, was seen laughing and doffing his cap to the crowd as he acknowledged their incredible support.
His fellow lock Eben Etzebeth took the unusual step of wearing huge ski goggles to the event, but was also in good spirits as he walked alongside Kolisi and met Ramaphosa.
All the while, fans waved the South African flag, played vuvuzelas and sang songs.
Eben Etzebeth (right) wore ski goggles as he arrived at the bus parade alongside Kolisi
Fans waved flags as they climbed on walls and waved flags as they greeted their heroes
One World Cup has now finished, but another one is still ongoing, with South Africa’s cricketers looking to go all the way in India this month.
Top-order batter Rassie van der Dussen admitted earlier this week that his side had been inspired by the Springboks and wanted to emulate them by winning the World Cup.
The Proteas are currently well-placed to do just that as they are on the brink of qualifying for the semi-finals after thrashing New Zealand by 190 runs on Wednesday.
Another tournament win would complete a remarkable double for South Africa, and potentially create more heartwarming scenes on the streets of the country later this month.
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