The Webb Ellis Cup is currently in South Africa and Cape Town is part of the World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour. The Trophy Tour is an 18 nation journey on the way to Japan for the Rugby World Cup that kicks off in September.
2007 Springbok and World Cup winning captain, John Smit, was on hand as the Trophy made its way up to the top of Table Mountain.
It’s more than just a trophy when Francois Pienaar lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 1995 with Nelson Mandela, not only a nation celebrated but the world at large. 2007 was no different it united the Rainbow Nation something John Smit remembers vividly.
“It’s actually surreal to be here on table mountain with the Webb Ellis trophy. When you grow up as a kid all you dream is playing for your country and then to win the World Cup in 2007 as a big dream. It reminds me and I think back to 2007. We had a seven week period in Paris and around France this trophy means so many things for so many people and for us it was a four week journey as a group of people that ended up pretty well,” says Smit.
Smit says it will be an intensely hard fought battle to win the Cup in 2019 with four or five teams possibly victorious. New Zealand and Ireland will be favourites with England and Wales also favoured but so too will be the Springboks.
“Beating the All Blacks once is amazing and to do it away from home and probably should have done it back to back as well so that in itself gives them enough confidence that they go into 2019 as a team that will be looked at the world cup,” says Smit.
Madiba told South Africa and the world that sport has the power to change the world and make it a better place, something that Smit has witnessed first-hand.
“That’s when I realised the power of sports in this country and what it means and how it’s been able to help in unifying a country that has an unbelievably interesting past and it’s still got a lot of healing to do sport and especially the Springboks what they have been able to do with two world cups has been a part of that healing process and I think it’s definitely time to celebrate again and continue that process,” says Smit.
A tough challenge awaits Siya Kolisi, Rassie Erasmus and the Springbok squad in 2019 but not an impossible one, one that could once again unite the Rainbow Nation.
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