Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has praised South Africans for the support they showed his side during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The Boks thrashed England 32-12 on Saturday to claim their third World Cup title in what will be Erasmus' last game as head coach before he moves full-time into his role as director of rugby.
"To the Springbok supporters, I would like to say we never felt alone here in Japan. We felt them all the way," said Erasmus after the match.
"Not just the supporters in Japan but also those back home. All the messages, all the WhatsApps, all the Facebook, the Twitter feed. We know there's millions there and we know they support us.
"We love them and I can't wait to get back home."
The coach said his team were "a little bit fortunate" at times to win the game which earned them their third global trophy.
Erasmus took over as director of rugby at the end of 2017 and shortly afterwards doubled his responsibilities by taking over as head coach following the sacking of Allister Coetzee after 12 losses from 25 games over two seasons.
Under Erasmus, the Boks finished second in the 2018 Rugby Championship, notably claiming South Africa's first win in New Zealand since 2009 with a thrilling 35-34 victory in Wellington.
They went one better by winning this year's abbreviated tournament, their first since 2009, after victories over Australia and Argentina, and a draw with the All Blacks.
"We always in the past seemed to look at all the bad things. We just decided 'listen, let's stand together, and work really hard, play well on the field.' And all the other things will then from that come out later and that's what we did.
"And eventually now we've won the World Cup, so that's great."