SA invoke spirit of 1995 with London run

2015-10-23 11:33
Francois Pienaar (Gallo Images)

London - Members of South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning team will go one a run through London before Saturday's semi-final against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Twenty years ago, South Africa beat New Zealand in a thrilling World Cup final at Johannesburg's Ellis Park.

The morning of that match, Springbok captain Francois Pienaar and his squad ran through the suburb of Sandton.

In a bid to replicate the feelgood factor from 1995, Pienaar and his team-mates have invited rugby fans to join them on 3.2 kilometer jog that will start and end at the National Gallery in London's Trafalgar Square.

"On the morning of the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final, they famously ran in Sandton. Twenty years later, the world champion Springboks are running again ... through the streets of London," said a South Africa Rugby statement. The run will start at 07:30 SA time (06:30 GMT).

Joel Stransky's extra-time drop-goal saw South Africa, competing in their first World Cup after their apartheid exclusion, beat a star-studded All Blacks side featuring Jonah Lomu.

The sight of Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok shirt, handing the World Cup trophy to Pienaar less than a year after he was elected as South Africa's first black president became an iconic political and sporting image.

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