South AfricaandNewZealandwill meet in the Rugby World Cup Final on Saturday for the first time after 1995.
In that instance, the tournament's host South Africa won the Webb Ellis Cup 15-12 in a hard-fought match.
Nelson Mandela presented the trophy to Springboks Captain Francois Pienaar after the end of apartheid. Mandela wore a replica of Pienaar’s No. The iconic image of Mandela wearing the No. 6 shirt in sporting history is a powerful and symbolic moment when a nation tried to reconcile its past.
Siya Kolisi, the inspiring captain who led South Africa to World Cup victory for the first time in 24 years, was the one to inspire his country's win against England.
Kolisi, who was born in poverty in Zwide township, outside of Port Elizabeth, is the embodiment of an impossible dream for many people in his home country and beyond.
His participation in the World Cup this year is no less than remarkable. He suffered a serious injury to his knee in April and had surgery.
Kolisi, a devout Christian who later acknowledged his faith's importance in his recovery. Kolisi now has the opportunity to join All Blacks legend Richie McCaw in being the only captain who has won consecutive tournaments.
'It's not something you can dream of because it doesn’t happen very often,' said 32-year-old ahead of a match in which both nations are looking to win the coveted trophy for a fourth time.
I don't believe it will ever happen again in our lifetime, two teams as good as this. Kolisi added, 'It will probably be my biggest game in my life.
The Springboks star knows that his team carries the hopes of an entire nation. People send us videos telling us that this is the only time in which they feel happy. The flanker said, "It's when we're playing."
"When we play, or when you are selected to represent us, you will know that it is for something much bigger than you."
Bongi Mbonambi will line up with Kolisi at the final on Saturday after World Rugby decided not to charge the Springboks' hooker over alleged discriminatory language used against England's Tom Curry during the semifinal, due to "insufficient evidence."
Kolisi said he had reached out to Curry after the online abuse and threats that Curry and his family received.
I have also been there. As players, we can accept it. It's okay when it's us, but it's not the same when it's your family.' The South African captain explained. It's one aspect of the game we don't like.
New Zealand won the last three Rugby World Cups in which these two nations faced off, but the Kiwis remember well the result of their meeting in August when the All Blacks were humiliated by the top-ranked South Africa at Twickenham stadium in London.
New Zealand, which was unwisely dismissed by many after its opening match against France, is now aiming to become world champions for the first since 2015.
Sam Whitelock, the All-Black with the most caps, is disappointed to be on the bench for his final match for New Zealand.
Whitelock, 35, is among several Kiwis who will be ending their international career after the tournament. But he knows that he can become the first sport to win three times.
Ian Foster will be leaving his position as New Zealand's head coach after this match.
The All Blacks suffered 11 defeats, two draws and four Rugby Championships victories during Foster's tenure.
Foster said that the team was trying to balance their emotions with the overwhelming messages they received from the fans at home. Even the people in France were very supportive.
We know there are two great teams. Different styles. Foster added, "They're good at their style; we want to be excellent at ours."
The three Barrett brothers, Scott, Jordie, and Beauden, will all start for the three-time champion, while Will Jordan, a winger, knows that he could break the record for the most World Cup tries if he adds to his eight already.
The two best teams in the World will now face off in front of 80,000 spectators at the Stade de France, Paris, to chase a piece of history.