South Africa Wins Rugby World Cup with 1st Black Captain
Led by their first Black captain, the team took home their third Rugby World Cup.
South Africa claimed its third Rugby World Cup Win, helmed by the team’s first Black captain. Siya Kolisi, 28, led his team to victory over England with a final score of 32 to 12.
"It is really special and it was more than just a game for us," he said after the game. "We are really grateful to have our families here and all I want to do is to inspire my kids and every other kid in South Africa. I never dreamed of a day like this at all. When I was a kid, all I was thinking about was getting my next meal.
Many in the country, including Kolisi’s teammates, see the win as much more than a reason to brag for the next four years, saying it helped unite the country and empower them through recent hardship.
South Africa has seen an increase in social unrest and economic instability. Though Apartheid, the system of racial segregation in the country for nearly five decades, might be over, many in the country say they still feel its lingering effects. Both Black and white South African rugby fans donned green and gold in support of the team that many consider the new face of resilience.
Kolisi was 16 years old when he saw South Africa win their 2007 Rugby World Cup. When was named team captain, human rights activist and prominent South African figure Desmond Tutu praised his appointment as “a wonderful achievement that…speaks to the hope we felt 24 years ago that we were developing a special society in which the cream would rise to the top regardless of colour of class.”
The Nelson Mandela Foundation also praised Kolisi and his team.
Today we join over 57 million South Africans in congratulating our team, the Springboks for their victory over England in Japan. This is the third trophy South Africa has lifted since the dawn of democracy. #RWCFinal #EngvRSA 1/2 pic.twitter.com/XS9ktGQUo1— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) November 2, 2019