Rassie Erasmus is determined to ensure the current world champion Bok team avoids some of the pitfalls that were experienced after previous World Cup triumphs.
South Africa clinched its maiden World Cup title in fairytale fashion under coach Kitch Christie in 1995, and 12 years later followed that up with a then record-equalling second World Cup triumph under Jake White in 2007.
In eerie similarity, Erasmus masterminded a glorious campaign at the 2019 showpiece as the Springboks claimed the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time exactly 12 years after the second one.
But if it were up to Erasmus, that 12-year-span between World Cup victories will not remain a trend going forward.
Speaking on the SA Rugby podcast Erasmus explained that much-like his 2019 squad, Christie and White’s teams also provided the nation with happiness and hope, but that it was relatively short-lived on both occasions.
‘When we got back, there was a whole trophy tour in November then it was the December holidays and all the reruns played until the beginning of January. We were totally in the clouds and couldn’t believe how happy it made people from all sections of life. It was just amazing,’ he said.
‘But I must since we started working again, everything is back to normal. In 1995 and 2007 we lost an opportunity, and I’m desperate to make sure we don’t [lose that opportunity] again.’
‘There’s a difference between hope and happiness and everyone said when we won we gave people hope. I feel we gave them hope and happiness. If we now take our foot off the peddle by playing badly and our win record dips, by not doing as well with transformation and by not being open, transparent and honest with the media and the supporters, then I feel we’ll be a failure again like after 1995 and 2007.
‘So I must say it was lovely to win the World Cup, but I’m feeling the pressure now more because I don’t want the next generation – like my own children – in the year 2035 to say we dropped the ball after 2019. We want to make sure that hope stays hope and it’s not a short happiness spell.’
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