Springboks greeted with hero's welcome upon returning home

Springboks greeted with hero's welcome upon returning home

Thousands of fans gathered at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport to welcome home the four-time Rugby World Cup champion Springboks on Tuesday morning.

The back-to-back winners landed in South Africa along with the hallowed Webb Ellis trophy and were rapturously greeted by a throng of supporters upon their arrival.

Fans showed off their pride by singing and dancing as they patiently waited for their team to burst through the doors, and when they did, the roof was absolutely blown off.

"Thank you to the people of South Africa. We have had a long and tough 20 weeks, but it was worth it," said Kolisi, who was the first to emerge holding the trophy aloft.

"This triumph has been six years in the planning. Winning the World Cup in 2019 was an unexpected bonus as the ultimate goal was always to be champions in 2023."

The well-known Ndlovu Youth choir added their voices to the chorus, with the choir's tenor Madoda Moshoane saying they were inspired by what the team represents.

"The country has never smiled this much," he told Sowetan.

"The Boks are such a great representation of where this country can be and the things we can achieve together."

Spirits are high in South Africa as the population celebrates their heroes, with President Cyril Ramaphosa even announcing there will be a public holiday in honour of the team on 15 December.

A trophy tour will begin on Thursday with the Springboks taking their prize around the country to show off to the people.

The World Cup campaign was gruelling for the Springboks who in the end had to beat all the five other teams in the top six to claim the title.

After losing to Ireland in the Pool Stage the team regrouped and pulled out some memorable performances in the knockouts. The Springboks won each of their three knockout games by a single point as they sent France, England and ultimately New Zealand packing.

READ MORE: All you need to know about the Springboks' victory parade