South African president Cyril Ramaphosa thrust himself front and centre of the Springboks’ World Cup celebrations – lifting the trophy just eight seconds after captain Siya Kolisi.

Ramaphosa flew to France for the final in Paris, which South Africa won 12-11 after a titanic struggle against New Zealand.

The 70-year-old wore a Springbok jersey, bringing to mind Nelson Mandela and his iconic role in South Africa’s 1995 World Cup final victory over the same opponents.

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When Springbok captain Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis trophy Ramaphosa then got even more involved, wandering into the centre of the stage from the side of the celebrations.

Ramaphosa appeared to ask for the trophy and was given it by Kolisi, raising it above his head with both hands before any other South African player had lifted it.

Kolisi appeared more than happy for Ramphosa to be integral to the Springbok celebrations, having done the same when South Africa won the trophy in Japan four years ago.

Ramaphosa had previously suggested he would grant a public holiday if South Africa retained their trophy, although as of Saturday night it was unclear whether he had done so or not.

Mandela provided perhaps the most iconic moment in rugby history when he wore a Springbok shirt for the 1995 World Cup final at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

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