The first set of players walked through the gates with fans trying to catch a glimpse.
A carnival atmosphere enveloped the normally sedate global arrivals section of the airport as Du Toit, De Klerk and some teammates and coaches received deafening applause. The smiling players had to be shepherded through the crowd by a police escort.
A carnival atmosphere enveloped the normally sedate worldwide arrivals section of the airport as every Springbok received deafening applause.
Mapimpi, like Kolisi, provided one of the heart-warming stories for the South Africa team.
And in keeping with Kolisi's well-documented rise from Zwide to World Cup winning captain, he said: "Anything can be overcome with opportunity".
"It's incredible for me".
Zimbabwe-born Mtawarira, 34, has been a fixture at loose head prop since debuting in 2008 and he is the third most capped Springbok with 117 after retired duo Victor Mayfield and Bryan Habana.
Erasmus said playing in Japan was both good and bad: "I think the saddest past was yesterday when we had to leave".
"I'm here because the Springboks are the pride of the nation", she said. They are now expected to land at around 19H00 with a news conference at about 20H00. "He (Kolbe) sat with me and he said, 'man it's going to be awesome'".
South Africa's Director of Rugby and World Cup coach, Rassie Erasmus said that the team could not wait to embark on their trophy tour, which kicks off in Gauteng on Thursday.
"'Beast', thank you for what you've done for South African rugby, to show that Springboks can indeed be gentle giants, and for never putting your own interests above that of the team".
The team faces a marathon week of celebrations, with ticker-tape parades scheduled countrywide.
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