Yokohama: Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said South Africa's Rugby World Cup victory on Saturday showed what the nation could achieve if it pulled together to face its challenges.
An emotional Kolisi, the first black man to captain the Springboks, devoted the Webb Ellis Cup to the people of South Africa and said he was so grateful for their support.
"We have so many problems in our country but a team like this, we come from different backgrounds, different races but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it," Kolisi said.
"I really hope we've done that for South Africa. Just shows that we can pull together if we want to achieve something," said the captain, who led his team to a resounding 32-12 victory over England in Yokohama.
He said that coach Rassie Erasmus had told the team they were not just playing for themselves but for all the people in South Africa, which is suffering an economic crisis with unemployment hovering around 30 percent.
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"Since I've been alive, I've never seen South Africa like this," said Kolisi, who said the team had received countless messages from home.
"Thank you so much. We love you South Africa and we can achieve anything if we work together as one," said the captain.