1995 Rugby World Cup Mandela Pienaar Polo


The movie ‘Invictus’ based on the 1995 Rugby World Cup starred Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The poem ‘Invictus’, did provide much solace to Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island. But it wasn’t Invictus that he gave to Pienaar just before the tournament. Rather, it was Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Man in the Arena’. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood”


An Introduction to 1995 Rugby World Cup Mandela Pienaar Polo

The Ellis Rugby 1995 Rugby World Cup Mandela Pienaar Polo shirt is of nice quality. The shirt is an inspiration by the famous film of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Clint Eastwood casts directed the 2009 Hollywood movie “Invictus”.  Matt Damon worked as Francois Pienaar and Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.

The concept behind the title, “Invictus” was drawn from the poem by William Henley. It’s true that Nelson Mandela had this poem whilst in incarceration on Robben Island. And in the film, he gives this to Francois Pienaar. Francois was Springboks rugby captain before the World Cup Finals in 1995.

But in reality, President Mandela gave the Springboks team the 1910 speech.  Speech by Theodore Roosevelt, “the Man in the Arena.”

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It was on the 11 February 1990. Following 27 years of imprisonment that Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison. Only four years later, he was elected the first black South African President.

He faced enormous challenges in the post-Apartheid era, including widespread crime and poverty. Mandela was particularly concerned about racial divides and the possibility of violence between white and black South Africans. There was also mistrust in his own security forces. The forces included white officers from previous governments and the black ANC additional officers.

In 1994, one year before the scheduled Rugby World Cup that was due to be staged in South Africa, Mandela was in attendance at the Test matches against England in Pretoria and Cape Town. He noticed that some black people in the crowd were cheering for the tourists, rather than their country South Africa. To the black South Africans, the Springboks represented apartheid and prejudice in their minds. Something which he too felt in Robben Island.

With South Africa set to host the Rugby World Cup a year later. Mandela met the newly appointed black-dominated South African Sports Committee. Mandela persuades them to support the team. Afterwards, he met with the captain of the Springboks, François Pienaar (Matt Damon). Mandela shared the poem that had inspired him during his time in jail. He suggests to Pienaar that a Springboks victory in the World Cup will inspire and unite the South African nation.

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Although there were doubts on both sides. Mandela’s plan began to work. And during the opening games, support for the Springboks begins to grow among the black population. Soon, the whole country pulled together to support Mandela’s efforts and the Springboks.

In addition, Mandela’s security team also grew closer. As the racially diverse officers come to respect their comrades’ professionalism and dedication.

The team continued to defy all expectations and reached the final at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Encouraged by the large home crowd of all races Pienaar motivated his teammates for one last push.

The Springboks continued their unbeaten run by beating the All Blacks 15–12 in extra time. Thanks to a drop goal from fly-half Joel Stransky.

The movie gained positive critical reviews. More so, the movie earned Academy Award nominations for Morgan Freeman (Best Actor). And Matt Damon (Best Supporting Actor) and it grossed $122.2 million at the box office.


Manufactured from 100% chunky pique cotton, the Ellis Rugby 1995 Rugby World Cup Mandela Pienaar Polo shirt features detailed embroidery on the historic quotation. Also, there is contrast inner placket, arms and collar stand, herringbone detail on vents and velvet tape on the neck opening. In addition, subtle Ellis Rugby branding on the collar stand and tone on tone logo on the arm.

The available sizes are S – XL.

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