What an inspiration to see a true South African team and nation lift the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup on Saturday last.
Togetherness, grit, tenacity, determination, vision, tactics, a nation coming together, and bloody hard work won through. When the World Cup Rugby journey started several weeks ago, we each subconsciously wrote the script in our own minds as to who would be lifting the Rugby World Cup.
As games kicked off, media hype penned the bigger nations in landslide victories and the smaller rugby nations as just making up the numbers.
Japan, a nation beset with natural disasters and a history of ruin and comeback came to the rugby table and boldly played as a nation who believed to ‘Never Mistake Bigness for Greatness’ and opened the world to the beautiful game of rugby as a game played backwards by the team going forward.
Two decades of provincial and international rugby have seen Irish Rugby scale the dizzy heights of world number one, European and Six Nation Champions. Each player, manager and fan has truly deserved this accolade which was won out of the love of the game in our schools, clubs, provinces and on the entire island of Ireland.
Success like the townships of South Africa is akin to that of our club rugby, sometimes forgotten, who forge and foster players in the belief that together is better. Inspirational South Africa played and won as a divided nation have been mistakenly seen as Backwards and who are now going Forward!
North Circular Road,
This reader's opinion was originally published in the print edition of the Irish Examiner on November 5, 2019