Friday, September 17, 1999 Published at 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
1995: The Rainbow Nation
Nelson Mandela crowns South Africa champions at the first time of asking
The Springboks had beaten New Zealand 15-12 in the final and there is little doubt the South Africans had been destined to win.
Nothing disturbed their momentum and even the best team in the competition by far, the Kiwis, were unable to deny them the celebrations their country craved.
With Mandela installed as the nation's new president and apartheid firmly banished to the past, the theme was 'One team, one country'.
And with white South Africans roaring on black Springbok, Chester Wiliiams, who replaced the banned Hendriks, it was impossible not to begin to believe the 'Rainbow Nation' could become a reality.
Boks back in the fold
The victory was an incredible achievement. The Springboks had won the World Cup at the first time of asking.
The apartheid-inspired international sporting boycott which began in the 1970's, had denied South Africa any opportunity to prove their case in the 1987 and 1991 events.
But Mandela's transformation from Robben Island political prisoner to president had changed the complexion of the rugby world.
When New Zealand won the inaugural 1987 tournament and Australia took the honours in 1991, South Africans - and many independent observers - questioned the All Blacks' and Wallabies' right to be heralded as the undisputed world champions.
The sceptics proved correct.
The final will be remembered forever as the day South Africa matured. And the tournament itself provided some of the most exciting action ever to be seen on a rugby field.
The giant All Black winger humiliated a string of opponents, running around, over or through them and capped a superb individual performance by scoring four tries against England in the semi-final.
There were no real surprises in the Pool stages - Wales lost to Ireland and Canada lost out to South Africa, while Western Samoa confirmed their position amongst the elite - but then the real battles began.
Scotland notched up 30 points against New Zealand, but still lost, France cruised past Ireland and South Africa eventually subdued the Samoans.
The best of the quarters-finals, however, was also the hardest to call.
England scrape through
The semi-finals were equally dramatic.
In Durban a thunderstorm threatened to end South Africa's dream - had the game been abandoned they would have gone out because they had a worse disciplinary record than France - but they scraped home 19-15.
Lomu had no such effect in the final, however.
The Springboks caged him in each time he had the ball, with scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen oustanding in that role.
However, the record book records South Africa as 1995 champions, making them the third southern hemisphere nation to take the crown in the three tournaments to date.