Springboks Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am with the trophy. Photo: ANA

EAST LONDON - Springboks rugby winger Makazole Mapimpi says he is more excited about winning the 2019 World Cup in Japan than scoring the first Springboks try during the final against England last weekend.

Speaking to media in East London on Saturday during the Springboks' victory parade in Buffalo City, he attributed the victory to team work, world class coaching, and messages of support from the people of South Africa. 

The Springboks visited East London on Saturday before moving on to Port Elizabeth for Sunday, and then to Cape Town for the final leg of the victory tour on Monday. Buffalo City is the home town of both Mapimpi and team mate Lukhanyo Am. 

It was the combination of the two players in Japan that resulted in the first Springbok try during the final. 

"I was thinking about winning the world cup as a team, [the try], it's a bonus for me. I was excited to hear that after the game," said Mapimpi.

November 9 - Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi greets fans camped outside the team's hotel in East London. Video: ANA

He said he was not expecting Am to pass the ball to him, as he was closer to the line than him, he said.

The streets of Buffalo City were packed with thousands of jubilant Springboks supporters, singing and cheering as the team bus passed through various parts of East London. 

Springboks centre Am, who hails from King Williams Town, part of Buffalo City, said winning the world cup was a dream come true. It was his dream since he started playing school rugby to represent the country at national level. 

"As a rugby player, I used to wish and hope that one day I could play rugby at the best level that I could reach. I always gave myself a chance that I could reach this stage," said Am.

 Playing in the world cup, as someone who came from Buffalo City, had paved the way for many youngsters and senior rugby players from this region, he said.

It was a busy day for the two players, and the rest of the team, as they spent time in the tour bus showing off the William Webb Ellis Trophy, followed by signing autographs and photographs with hundreds of supporters.

African News Agency (ANA)