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The news was confirmed recently as the lists of final nominations were revealed by Laureus.

The Springboks have been nominated in the Team of the Year Category at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Berlin next month.

The Boks, who won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, will be up against tough competition from Jürgen Klopp’s Champions League-winning Liverpool side, the US women's football team who won the women’s World Cup, six-time Formula One world champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas, the first Canadian team to win the NBA Championship, the Toronto Raptors, and two-time FIBA World Cup winners, Spain's men’s basketball team.

The Springboks won the category at the 2008 Laureus Awards having triumphed at the 2007 World Cup the year prior.

"You have to remember when we went into the 2019 Rugby World Cup, we were only ranked fifth or sixth, but as the competition proceeded we really got together as a team and we realised how we could unite the country. It became a bigger cause than just winning a competition. To be nominated for this award is unbelievable," hooker Schalk Brits said of the honour.

Team of the Year

Laureus Academy chairperson and All Blacks legend, Sean Fitzpatrick, also had kind word for the Boks.

"One could not have predicted the immense impact that South Africa’s win of the Rugby World Cup had around the world. With their victory inspiring the hearts of so many, uniting a multitude of communities, we see once again the exceptionally unique power of sport to unite," he said.

"It seems only fitting that the Laureus theme for the 2020 awards ceremony is 'Sport Unites Us'.

"If I wanted to identify a figure that symbolises the unity that sport has brought about in 2019, Siya Kolisi comes straight to mind.

"I greatly admire the way Kolisi led his team and how he has transcended his leadership role within rugby to become a leader and a role model for his entire country. I am not alone in applauding the whole team for the passion, determination and commitment they have shown. They are truly deserving of this nomination for the Laureus Team of the Year Award."

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