Rugby World Cup 2019: Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus hails inspirational captain Siya Kolisi

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has paid a glowing tribute to Siya Kolisi, who became the first black captain to lift the Rugby World Cup after beating England in the final on Saturday. 

Kolisi showed plenty of emotion as he lifted the Webb Ellis Cup, the third time South Africa has won the title. 

In the lead-up to the final, Kolisi revealed lots about his past - including that he had to travel to his local tavern to watch South Africa win the 2007 final against England because he had no TV at home.

Kolisi's dad travelled to Japan to watch the final from the stands at Yokohama International Stadium, the first time he'd ever left South Africa. 

"We had a good chat yesterday when we did the jersey presentation for his 50th test match," said Erasmus. "It is easy to talk about going through hard times and struggling to get opportunities, but it is tough when there are days when you didn't have food or couldn't go to school or didn't have shoes to wear. 

"When you sit down and think about it, there was a stage when Siya didn't have food to eat and, yes, that is the captain, and he led South Africa to hold this Cup, and that is what Siya is."

Kolisi dedicated the win to the people of South Africa and felt like his side's 32-12 triumph will inspire the nation, similar to 1995, when they won their first World Cup and Nelson Mandella was the President. 

"I was grateful for everything that the team has been through, we've been through a lot of challenges," he said. 

"We have a lot of problems in our country, but when our team comes together... it shows we can pull together to achieve something.

"Since I've been alive I've never seen South Africa like this. The coach came in and told us we're not just playing for ourselves anymore, we're playing for people back home. We can achieve anything if we work together as one.

"It has been awesome to have my Dad here to share this with him. And my best friend. An absolutely amazing day for all of us.

"I had a conversation with my Dad. He was just happy. He's much older than the players but they're his heroes. I'm grateful I could bring him here."

John Smit, the captain of the 2007 World Cup-winning Springboks team agreed with Kolisi's comments.

"For me, even as a guy who won it, this was a far bigger occasion because of where we've come from and where we're going.

"I always thought, was it too much of a fairytale to see Siya lift that trophy? It couldn't have come at a better time. This will have a significant impact on our country."

Erasmus also agreed. 

"In South Africa pressure is not having a job," said Erasmus. "It is one of your friends being murdered. Rugby shouldn't be something that creates pressure on you. Rugby brings hope.

"We've got the privilege to bring people hope. Hope is when you play well, and people watch you on Saturday, have a nice barbecue and watch the game and feel good after.

"No matter your political views, for those 80 minutes you agree. That's not our responsibility, that's our privilege. The moment you see that, it becomes a hell of a privilege."

South Africa's win sees them return to the top of the world rankings for the first time in 10 years.