Graphic: Special World Cup memory

With rugby in lockdown, there’s an opportunity to look back on special moments from the past such as this one shared between Frans Steyn and Damian Willemse last year.

It’s quite something to think that Willemse was just nine years old when Steyn won his first World Cup with the Boks in 2007, but 12 years later the two found themselves in the same squad as the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup once again.

For Willemse, it was an unexpected opportunity.

After Jesse Kriel injured his hamstring when he came off the bench in the Boks’ opener against the All Blacks in Yokohama, he was eventually ruled out of the World Cup.

The youngster, who had been on loan with Saracens, was called up to join the team after initially missing out on selection for the 31-man squad.

He earned a start in a one-sided pool game win over Canada, and scored a memorable try, breaking into a celebration that showed how much it meant to him to be part of the Bok squad.

It also led to one of the iconic pictures from the tournament as Steyn joyously embraced him in a show of emotion that proved just how close the entire Springbok team was during the World Cup.

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*Question to our readers: What were some of your other special memories and moments from last year’s global showpiece?

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