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Ramaphosa hails Boks as 'warriors' & 'true champions' at trophy presentation

President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the Springboks at the Union Building, hailing them warriors who had made the country proud before they departed on their tour of Gauteng.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus (left) and captain Siya Kolisi (right) present the Webb Ellis Cup to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 7 November 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PRETORIA - The Springboks have arrived at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in an open-top bus showing off the Web Ellis trophy.

The team arrived back from Japan this week after winning the Rugby World Cup.

Fans have lined the streets, waving their flags and singing the national anthem.

President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the Springboks home, hailing them warriors who had made the country proud.

"These are our warriors. They went out to war and they brought the trophy back to South Africa where it belongs. We are delighted that we send them out there to go and fly the flag of our country in Japan and they did so with great excellence and commitment."

Ramaphosa said the nation was applauding the Boks.

"As I shook their hands and I looked into their eyes, I saw victory written all over their eyes. They are true champions because with this victory, we are the first team to have won the Rugby World Cup on three continents."

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said he was grateful for all the messages of support from around the country which carried them through to becoming World Cup champions.

"Thank you so much for your support for every single message, every single video. When it got tough and we saw the videos we were so grateful. Mr President, we hope we've inspired everyone with what we do best, with this rugby and we hope this doesn't stop here and it goes beyond other people."

Meanwhile, Saru president Mark Alexander said that Ramaphosa encouraged the team to clinch the victory.

Fans said they were in the city to congratulate the team.

"Well it's not the first time, it's the third time, so we've matched the All Blacks and I think we've played less games than they've played, so we're better than they are," one fan quipped.

"We're here to celebrate the Boks' victory and we're so proud of South Africa and the unity and united sense that came back in this very difficult time," another fan said.

The tour is set to move from the Union Buildings towards the Loftus Versfeld Stadium and then Tshwane House before moving to Johannesburg.

TMPD's Isaac Mahamba said that several roads in the capital would be affected.

"The affected streets include the following: Jan Shoba, Burnett, Park Street, Kirkness, Lynwood Road, Paul Kruger, Madiba and Lilian Ngoyi. As the convoy passes, they will immediately reopen."

WATCH: World champion Boks tour Gauteng

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