With the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand looming large, the former Springboks who won the 1995 competition have decided to show their support by replicating an important morning ritual that provided them with encouragement and motivation on the day of their historic title win against the All Blacks in 1995.
On the morning of their stunning 15-12 victory against the All Blacks in the final of the 1995 World Cup at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, skipper Francois Pienaar and his team-mates did a captain’s run through the streets of Sandton in Johannesburg as a way of building anticipation and gathering the energy of South African fans, who joined them for sections of their run in a sign of support.
The former captain and members of his World Cup winning team have decided to replicate that run through the streets of London on Saturday morning, as the current Springboks prepare to do battle against their fierce All Black rivals later that day.
Pienaar and his former squad have invited rugby fans to join them early on Saturday morning for a two mile jog that will begin at the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square, move through the streets of the city before returning to the starting point.
A South African Rugby Union statement revealed: “On the morning of the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final, they famously ran in Sandton. Twenty years later, the world champion Springboks are running again … through the streets of London.”
Any fans wanting to join the legends of South African rugby will need to be ready for the start of the run at 06:30 GMT.
In 1995 a Joel Stransky extra-time drop-goal sent Springbok fans into rapturous celebrations as South Africa beat a highly favoured All Black selection in front of 62,000 fans while competing in their first World Cup after being readmitted to global sport following the fall of apartheid.
The moment that followed is an iconic image burnt into the hearts and minds of South Africans and fans of the sport all over the world, as then president Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok jersey, handed the Rugby World Cup trophy to Pienaar in a moment that symbolised a huge sporting and social victory for the rainbow nation.