Rugby World Cup: Warm welcome home eases All Blacks' pain after Paris heartbreak

The world's two greatest rugby teams have returned home on Wednesday.

The All Blacks touched down in Auckland to adoring fans - desperate to give the pick-me-up they deserve, while the Springboks received a hero’s welcome in South Africa.

 Fans waited for hours for the boys in black at Auckland International Airport. 

"We had some false information they would be coming in at 10... but we'd wait forever, " said one family of fans.

Some – like All Blacks halfback Cam Roigard's dad's David - at the arrivals terminal were more than simply fans.

"Over the last few years the country has been pretty hard on them," David Roigard noted. "But now, the whole country feels robbed, so they're backing them, which is really cool."

The players themselves admit they're still coming to terms with the heartbreaking nature of their World Cuyp final loss to South Africa – aches which quickly eased at the sight of their warm reception.

"On the plane ride , it's kind of sunk in more and more how like kind of gutted were with the result," said Brodie Retallick. "But to see the fans come out - all cheering put a smile on the boys' faces."

No. 8 Ardie Savea added: "It's a great way for us to heal. There's going to be a lot of deep scars from this tournament but seeing the fans the and fans admiration and love really, really means a lot."

Coach Ian Foster's daughters Jodie and Football Ferns star Michaela were both ready with a hug, eager to get their dad back home.

"It's been a long couple of months - just really proud of what they've all achieved," said Jodie. "Got the barbie ready at home for a family gathering."

Meanwhile in Johannesburg, the Boks touched down with rugby's greatest prize. 

"This is for us," screamed one South African fan. "The Bokkes have made us proud - we are the world champions.

"This is what we needed to uplift our spirit. My heart is pumping just like it did in the final."

But the All Blacks can rest assured - they're still inspiring fans. 

"I play rugby now - and watching them and the Black Ferns is inspiring," said one aspiring player.