Rugby World Cup: Francois Pienaar says South Africa's 2019 success means more than 1995 win
Last Updated: 04/11/19 5:32pm
South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Francois Pienaar says the success in 2019 is a more significant triumph for the country than when he was victorious in 1995.
The Springboks defeated England 32-12 on Saturday to win the World Cup for a record-equalling third time, 12 years after their most recent victory in France.
Pienaar, who watched Rassie Erasmus' side win in International Stadium Yokohama, believes seeing Siya Kolisi, South Africa's first black captain, lifting the Webb Ellis Cup will continue to bring a greater Springboks following.
Asked if he agreed with 2007 captain John Smit that the success was bigger than 1995, Pienaar told Sky Sports News: "John is right. I think this is much bigger because if you look at the team, our captain Siya, more and more people have started supporting the Springboks.
"A lot of black people in South Africa [were] waking up yesterday morning, waking their kids up and putting a Springbok jumper over their shoulders.
"It didn't happen when we played. Yes, it united the country but I think this is more powerful."
The national team's success was met by widespread joy in South Africa and Pienaar said he wished he had been back home to witness the scenes of jubilation at another symbolic moment of Springboks success.
"We wanted to be back in South Africa yesterday to experience the impact," Pienaar said.
"People were just flowing out onto the streets and just celebrating. That is the power of sport. Sport is such a unifier."
In 1995, former President Nelson Mandela famously celebrated on the podium with Pienaar after their first world cup win.
"We have got so many messages and every message has got a smile and a tear and people pumping the air. Just celebrations, absolute celebrations right through the country.
"And for the first time a really united team because when we played in 1995 we just came out of apartheid.
"Now we have got the first ever black captain in South Africa's history and his story is such a beautiful story and 'wow' did they play yesterday."