The Boks touch down in East London for their final leg of the tour

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The Springboks touched down in East London on Saturday evening for their final leg of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour. They were welcomed by scores of ecstatic rugby fans at East London’s King Phalo Airport.

The back to back world champions will criss cross various areas on Sunday with the trophy culminating with a stop at city hall.

The young and the old showed love to the world champs. Some came early for the best spot, even if they had to wait hours. The players continue to appreciate the wave of support they are receiving.

“The love we have been experiencing through out the cities, through out the country is incredible. I truly appreciate it. I really have no words to say. It’s been great,” says Eben Etzebeth, Springbok lock.

The fans can’t wait to interact with their heroes.

“One thing that stood out for me is that together as a nation it takes just men with a ball to make such an impact, and to Siya, we know where Siya comes from we know as average people that have come from all walks of life. But today we stand together. We stand strong because of what he has done, what his captaincy has done. His captaincy is amazing because it has touched lives, far and wide,” a fan explains.

“As a rugby player I’m truly inspired by the Boks, Ox Nche is my role model. I see myself in the Boks squad in the future. They have done us proud,” another fan elaborates.

The provincial sports department has vowed to develop the positive groundswell for the betterment of sports, particularly in rural areas.

“We so wish that it doesn’t die down. We want to keep the level as it is by strengthening programmes in the department, working with the federation and the structures of the rugby union. Ever since the Bokke won the tournament, preparations have began. So I can confirm now, everything is in order, they are ready,” says Nonceba Kontsiwe, Eastern Cape Sports MEC.

The trophy tour will kick off and end on the beachfront.

Video: Boks Victory Tour – Springboks arrive in East London, Eastern Cape