News24 Wire
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2 minute read
31 Oct 2019
9:26 pm

Rassie Erasmus: Boks win can help fix SA’s problems

News24 Wire

'That is definitely for us an extra motivation for Saturday... We are trying to win for South Africa,' the Springbok coach said.

Rassie Erasmus (Head Coach) of South Africa during the South African national rugby team media conference at Hilton Hotel Tokyo Bay on October 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus vividly remembers watching the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

He was just 22 years old at the time and just finding his feet in what would prove to be a hugely successful professional rugby career that saw him earn 36 Test caps for the Boks between 1997 and 2001.

Now, all these years later, Erasmus is on the verge of etching his name in the history books by guiding the Boks to their third Webb Ellis Cup.

The Boks take on England on Saturday in the tournament final, and the excitement in South Africa is reaching new heights this week.

Erasmus knows exactly how much a win would mean to the public back home and on Thursday he remembered looking on as Francois Pienaar and his side made history in 1995.

“In ’95, I was a student in Bloemfontein, and we were staying on the rugby fields there by the university grounds,” he recalled.

“I was sharing a house with Naka Drotské, who was playing in the World Cup final.

“We were all watching the game at the university rugby grounds, which is where I was in 1995.

“We all know what impact that had for our country and should we win it on Saturday. It has already had a big impact for us.

“We do have some challenges in our country at different levels and at different avenues.

“But rugby is one of the things that – for a few minutes and sometimes a few hours, days and months if we win – people seem to forget about their disagreements for a while, and agree.

“What we experienced from 2007 and 1995, they then agree for a long while, and you can fix a lot of things in that time. In South Africa, we need that, and we can feel that.

“That is definitely for us an extra motivation for Saturday, that we know we are trying to win for us 23 (players), but that is the last thing whom we are trying to win for.

“We are trying to win for South Africa, and not just because they are supporters, but because our country needs a lot of things that we want to fix, and we want to help fix that.”

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