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Bok captain Kolisi seeks gold for Rainbow Nation

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 02:03s - Published < > Embed
Bok captain Kolisi seeks gold for Rainbow Nation

Bok captain Kolisi seeks gold for Rainbow Nation

South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi has become a symbol of unity for the country ahead of the Rugby World Cup final against England.

Serena Chaudhry reports.

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Bok captain Kolisi seeks gold for Rainbow Nation

When South Africa's rugby team enters Japan's Yokohama International Stadium on Saturday (November 2), a lot of hope will be riding on captain Siya Kolisi.

The Springboks, who take on England in the final, will be hoping for a victory that could be as symbolic as the 1995 win for the post-apartheid Rainbow Nation.

Kolisi, who grew up in a poverty-stricken township, is the first black man to captain the team.

He's seen as a symbol of unity in a country that is grappling with soaring debt, high unemployment, rampant crime and corruption.

Springboks forwards coach, Matt Proudfoot.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SPRINGBOKS FORWARDS COACH, MATT PROUDFOOT, SAYING: "I suppose the Springbok is the tool which people use as a symbol of hope, a symbol of opportunity.

It shows, if you look at the stories of players and the team, what can be achieved with hard work.

So I suppose it's wrapped up in the psychology of a lot of people.

So I think there is a real connection between the Springbok player and what it means to be a Springbok and the supporter back home." But it's not going to be a straightforward game for the green and gold team, who will be playing for their third Rugby World Cup win.

With an average age of 27, the English line-up is the youngest to start a World Cup final since rugby turned professional 24 years ago.

And while South Africa has a team of big men, it's the speed and athleticism of some of England's players like flanker Sam Underhill, that they'll need to watch out for.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND FLANKER, SAM UNDERHILL, SAYING: "And in defence there is not much you can do about what they bring at you, except turn up physically.

I think that is probably going to be a theme going into tomorrow.

A lot of what's underpinning a lot of aspects of the game is physicality.

We get that right and hopefully we will be able to dictate the game." Back in South Africa, fans are coming together under the chant "stronger together".

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FRANCO GROENEWELD, SAYING: "Our country needs this.

Come on, bring it home boys!

Come on!" (SOUNDBITE) (English) LINDIWE MUDAUO, SAYING: "We believe in you, we know you can do it.

We're standing with you, together."




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