Owen Farrell This is another astonishing add-on!
Sometimes a storm comes in and all you can do is yield in its path.
Heavy metal thunder on the pitch, the echoes of history off it. This was a South Africa World Cup win that began with a stumble seven weeks ago and ended with a noise that will roll across the oceans from Yokohama to the cities and townships of a very different continent.
England came looking for a fresh peak and never got within striking distance of the summit. The Springboks arrived with a rich past and will leave with new heroes and maybe a greater prize still.
There have been totemic South African captains before and there have been two who have also won the World Cup. But as Siya Kolisi, the first black skipper in the country’s history, lifted the Webb Ellis trophy into the clear evening sky, golden ticker-tape streaming down behind him, if felt like something changing forever.
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When Nelson Mandela celebrated with Francois Pienaar at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in 1995 there was one black player in the Springbok team. When John Smit did the same, arm in arm with Thabo Mbeki in Paris in 2007, there were two.
This was a moment and an image that more truly represents the balance and nuances of the complicated nation behind it than even those iconic triumphs in its wake. In the team’s leader is a story to inspire far beyond a rugby pitch and podium.
A kid from the townships who was born with nothing, whose parents were too young and too poor to raise him and so entrusted him to his grandmother. A rugby obsessive who played without kit, whose mother died when he was 15 and whose grandmother died in his arms a few months later.
- The ‘unique story’ of South Africa’s
These extensions are quite interesting!!
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