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South Africa celebrates as Springboks return home to chaotic welcome after Rugby World Cup glory

  • Video report by ITV News Africa Correspondent Penny Marshall

The arrival of the triumphant rugby team back in their native South Africa heralds six days of unprecedented celebrations as the team embarks on a national tour showing off the Webb Ellis trophy.

There were jubilant scenes at the airport this afternoon signalled that the national party has begun.

The trophy will be taken first to Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria before heading south to the Eastern Cape and Cape Town over the weekend.

The team is expected to be greeted by thousands of fans in scenes which will become part of history.

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This World Cup has transformed the players into legends, and the game of rugby, once the preserve of elite white players, into a truly national and uniting sport.

The win was a day of immense pride for this young democracy and the country's confidence has taken a much needed boost.

South Africa's Siya Kolisi lifts the Webb Ellis cup after winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Credit: AP

South Africa is currently experiencing profound challenges.

It remains the most unequal country in the world according to the World Bank.

Youth unemployment has topped 50%, violent crime statistics are horrific, and the economy is shrinking.

Everyone is hoping that Saturday's emotional boost, when the first black Springbok Captain, Siya Kolisi, lifted the trophy, can now be turned into something tangible and permanent.

He has done much to help people believe that it can with his words about winning this for "all of South Africa".

South Africa was united on Saturday to watch its national team bring home the RWC title. Credit: AP

As have the words of the national coach, Rassie Erasmus, who talked about pressure before he left Japan in a way that everyone here can relate to: "We talked about what pressure is," he revealed .

"In South Africa pressure is not having a job. Pressure is one of your close relatives being murdered."

It isn't just the victory that has cheered this nation - but the dignity and generosity shown by the players too.

It has reignited optimism in a country where all too often pessimism dominates the national conversation