The Springboks will be arriving in South Africa later today. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP Photo

JOHANNESBURG The government has urged South Africans to come out in numbers to give the Springbok rugby team a hero's welcome when they arrive at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon.

The team won the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, making South Africa only the second nation after New Zealand to win the Webb Ellis Cup three times.

The Springboks' resounding victory over England on Saturday was a momentous occasion for the country, government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said and called urged South Africans to turn out for trophy tour across the country from Thursday to Monday.

"Fans and people from all walks of life are encouraged to be part of the Springboks victory parade by lining the streets, wearing their supporter’s shirts and fly the South African flag to show support and love to the team," Williams said in a statement. 

She added that the team, praised as a symbol of racial integration in a sport long seen as reserved for whites, has shown all South Africans that by working together they can overcome any challenge. 

"Once again, government congratulates #Bokke for their magnificent achievement. Their performance serves as an inspiration for our youth to participate in sport and enhance the country’s success and growth in the industry. Their outstanding win is an indication of the capability of South Africans to reach world class performance. "

African News Agency (ANA)