Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen was in tears after the final whistle of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final because of what assistant coach Matt Proudfoot whispered in his ear.

As the two embraced, Proudfoot said, "This was for him".

Proudfoot was referring to Vermeulen’s father, André, who died of cancer when Duane was just eight.

Vermeulen, now 33, wished his father could've been alive to see him win the World Cup - which Proudfoot realised.

"That’s something special to hear from a coach, and when he said that, the tears just started rolling and I just couldn’t stop them," Vermeulen told YOU magazine.

Vermeulen was named man of the match in the Springboks' 32-12 victory over in England in Yokohama early this month.

The victory was the Springboks' third Webb Ellis Cup title, matching the All Blacks' record.

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley