World Cup was the most terrifying thing, says Mark Andrews
The lock says he loved the tournament up until the semifinals - 'then I hated it ... the pressure was horrendous’
As a member of the SA team that won the 1995 World Cup and was later immortalised in the Clint Eastwood film Invictus, Mark Andrews is already assured of a place in rugby history. “We were just out of isolation, Mandela was the new president, it was an opportunity to show the world who we were,” he said.
SA had been released from sporting exile, prompted by years of apartheid government, in 1992 and Andrews, with his trademark headband, was a new breed of Springbok second-row forward when he was fast-tracked into the team in 1994. Not the cumbersome lump who had occupied that position in years gone by but an athletic ball carrier whose handling owed much to his early career as a water polo player. As he looks back 24 years, though, to those heady days when Nelson Mandela was forging his “rainbow nation”, a shiver runs through him.
“I loved the World Cup up until the semifinals,” Andrews says. “Then I hated it. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.”..