PICS: Desmond Tutu welcomes the Springboks to Cape Town
JOHANNESBURG – Archbishop Desmond Tutu was one of the distinguished guests welcoming the victorious Springboks to Cape Town on the final day of their Rugby World Cup trophy tour on Monday.
"What this group of youngsters has achieved speaks, beyond rugby, to the possibility of what we can be," Tutu, an ardent fan, said in a statement after meeting the squad.
The South African team beat England 32-12 in the final held in Yokohama, Japan on November 2.
Footage on local media channel News24 showed Tutu, the renowned anti-apartheid activist, dressed in a green Springbok T-shirt welcoming captain Siya Kolisi with an embrace and a smile.
Tutu was also greeted by Faf de Klerk who took the opportunity to give the elderly gentleman a glimpse of his now famous swimsuit.
Pictures of the effervescent scrum-half greeting Britain's Prince Harry, wearing only the national flag-inspired suit, went viral on social media after the final.
The Springboks have been parading the Web Ellis Cup around the country since Thursday, stopping in major cities as well as poorer areas on the outskirts where a number of the players come from.
The tour has been very well supported, with thousands of fans lining the streets, chanting and screaming as the open-top bus has driven past.
On Sunday, barefooted children could be seen running alongside the bus as it drove through Kolisi's hometown of Zwide in the Eastern Cape where the sports hero grew up playing rugby on a field of dirt.
The fans' energy has been matched by the Springboks who have shown no signs of fatigue, often joining in the fun by dancing and singing along with the crowds.
Archbishop Tutu checked @Springboks Trevor Nyakane and Tendai Mtawarira's muscles to see if they were real, and complained about the firmness of Duane Vermeulen's handshake before meeting Siya Kolisi's family in Cape Town today. Visit @TutuLegacy on Facebook for full statement. pic.twitter.com/JcyaUmtAO6— TutuLegacy (@TutuLegacy) November 11, 2019
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was thrilled to meet the Rugby World Cup winning Springboks today. He couldn't believe how big they are! He congratulated them, not only for their victory but for bringing South Africans together. Read @TutuLegacy statement here: https://t.co/HNC9ucON3K pic.twitter.com/z7HJaxUG0V— TutuLegacy (@TutuLegacy) November 11, 2019