World Cup-winning South African captain Siya Kolisi says he has never seen his country as supportive and united as they are right now.
The Springboks beat England by a scoreline of 32-12 for Kolisi to lift the Webb Ellis trophy on his 50th appearance for his country.
Speaking after the game on his side's third-ever World Cup win, Kolisi said he was grateful for everything the team has been through:
"We have faced a lot of challenges but the people of South Africa have got behind us and we are so grateful to them.
"We have so many problems in our country, a team like this - we come from different backgrounds, different races - and we came together with one goal. I really hope we have done that for South Africa, to show that we can pull together if we want to achieve something."
🗣 “I have never seen South Africa like this. We were playing for the people back home. We can achieve anything if we work together as one.”
Hear from @Springboks’s Siya Kolisi on what is not just a #RWCFinal win - It’s more than that 👏👏#RWC2019 #ENGvRSA #WebbEllisCup pic.twitter.com/qgfv0STIlr
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) November 2, 2019
On the game itself, Kolisi emphasised the role his side's physicality played in winning the final.
"That's why we have a six-two split - to make sure that we go out physically," Kolisi explained.
"They knew that's we wanted to do and our coach doesn't hide it. We wanted a good start and that's why some guys shoulders are off from the early contact. They were amazing today."
The 28-year-old also expressed his gratitude to a unified South Africa who had come together to support the team.
"Since I have been alive I have never seen South Africa like this. With all the challenges we have, the coach said to us that we are not playing for ourselves anymore, we are playing for the people back home - that is what we wanted to do today.
"We appreciate all the support - people in the taverns, in the shebeens, farms, homeless people - there were screens there - and people in the rural areas. Thank you so much, we appreciate the support. We love you South Africa and we can achieve anything if we work together as one.
"Lastly, thank you to the people of Japan. The people who came from England as well. Thank you so much for supporting the sport of rugby."
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