Message by Nelson Mandela to the 2007 Rugby World Cup Springboks

20 October 2007

Congratulations to the Springboks, die Bokke, Amabokhobokho.

To Jake, John and every single member of the team, the squad and the management - well done. You have made us all very proud to be South Africans in the world.

You remind us again so powerfully of that proud day in 1995 when we not only won the Rugby World Cup, but even more importantly, celebrated ourselves as one nation uniting behind our victorious team.

We regret not being able to be with you in person today; but you can be assured that we will be with you in spirit every minute of the match.

You are fortunate to have our President with you. He carries with him the good wishes and support of all South Africans, including ourselves. And there are thousands of compatriots out there, carrying the flag for this great nation of ours.

We know that our boys have the ability, strength and determination to be victorious once more. We ARE a winning nation! We acknowledge our problems and challenges and then proceed to tackle them with determination and in a spirit of optimism. We have overcome much in order to be where we are. You, our national team, represent that spirit.

You have done us exceedingly proud thus far. Play the game hard and honestly. And whatever the outcome hold your heads high.

We are convinced that you will triumph and bring the trophy home.

Go Springboks, go!

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation