Rassie Erasmus says he wants to see South Africa capitalise fully on the Springboks’ World Cup win and continue the feeling of goodwill in the country.
Erasmus was speaking after the Springboks’ arrival at OR Tambo International Airport following their 2019 World Cup win in Japan. The arrivals section of the airport was packed to capacity, with fans from all walks of life turning up to celebrate the team’s momentous achievement. The Boks’ arrival day also happened to coincide with Erasmus’ 47th birthday.
The Springbok coach said that if he was to have one wish, it would be to see their win have a long-lasting impact on the country, unlike the team’s previous World Cup victories in 1995 and 2007.
‘Let Siya have some glory now and some players were players of the tournament, like Pieter-Steph,’ Erasmus said. ‘The boys were certainly heroes in the way that they played. That will last for a week or two, a month or so.
‘If I have one wish from the World Cup … if I think about 1995 and 2007, what we want to see lasting is what we see here at the airport, different races and religions, people with so many differences coming together.
‘It is nice to have it on my birthday but if I could have one other wish on my birthday it is to really use this victory as a springboard to ensure that we don’t lose some of the other things we had 2007 and 1995 again, and really use it this time to make sure that all the things that we missed out [on] previously that we don’t miss it this time.’
As was his plan, Erasmus will be stepping down after this year to focus on his responsibilities as SA Rugby director of rugby.
‘We have to focus on making sure that everybody gets equal chances of playing, everybody gets good nutrition and everybody gets a fair chance,’ Erasmus said. ‘There are so many things that we have to fix, we can’t just focus on the Springboks. If we only focus on the Boks, we will only win every 12 years. There are so many other things that can help the Springboks win consistently.
‘There are so many bigger things that we have to fix. Let Siya and the boys enjoy today, but let’s keep it going.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) November 5, 2019
The Springboks trophy parade begins in Gauteng on Thursday, 7 November and includes stops in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto. The team will also be touring Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth before concluding in Cape Town on Monday, 11 November.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images