PARIS – South Africa lifts the Webb Ellis Cup for the fourth time at the Rugby World Cup 2023, capping an incredible final presentation at Stade de France.

The tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup came to a spectacular finish on 28 October when the champions were crowned in front of 80,000 spectators at Stade de France in Parish and hundreds of millions more via television and social media.  After 51 glorious days, South Africa stunned the sport community at this incredible tournament winning an unprecedented fourth title.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup was reported as the best ever attended with more than four million cumulative attendance nation-wide with an average of more than 50 000 in attendance.   In social media the Rugby World Cup gained more popularity than any other sport and any other tournament with over 3.1 billion digital impressions.  It also attracted a global broadcast audience of over 800 million.

France was also reported amongst fans as the best host ever with 600 000 international spectators in attendance.

Back home, South-Africans were in stitches as they gathered at local venues all over the country shouting for and cheering on the “Bokke” – short for Springboks – the national South-African rugby team.  But for the discerning South-African, the victory was much more than just sporting brilliance.  It is symbolic of South Africa’s triumph as a nation, and defeating the foes of apartheid that scourged the nation in the previous regime.  It was a celebration of togetherness, as the Springboks put their excellent team spirit of social cohesion on display at a global platform that became the dinner-topic in millions of homes world-wide.

“At times such as this, when our country faces many problems that at times cause our spirits to flag, we are reminded that our South-Africanness, our sense of community and belonging, and our very nationhood did not evolve overnight,” said South-African President, Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to the nation.

Kolisi, who became the first black captain to lead the Springboks to a World Cup victory, expressed his gratitude to the rugby fans for their support throughout the tournament. “We are humbled by the support we have received from our fans,” said Kolisi, “We knew that we had a tough task ahead of us, but the energy and passion of our fans carried us through.  We are honoured to have had the opportunity to make history and bring the Webb Ellis Cup home.”

Meanwhile, South Africans are eagerly awaiting their heroes in sport to reach South-African soil to celebrate with them.

Zoé Pillay – Safe Cities Media

29 October 2023

For the prosperity of a nation!