In CCTV of the incident, the thieves can be seen entering the building before looking around presumably for items to steal.
One of the burglars touches the trophy – a replica of the William Webb Ellis trophy – before instead looking through the cupboards below and walking away.
The burglary took place on Monday (November 13) at around 10pm local time in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. Police were initially concerned that the trophy could have been stolen.
Local media reported that ‘two well-dressed men’ entered the business park in a White Toyota Corolla before forcing a window open on the ground floor to get into the building.
Footage of the incident as shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Yusuf Abramhee, a South African journalist.
In the video, the burglars can be seen opening cupboard doors and rifling through the office for items to take. Two men, one wearing a beanie hat, then walk past the trophy into an office.
When they walk out of the office, one of the men grasps the trophy, lifts it slightly while his accomplice speaks to him, before putting it down again.
They then begin rifling through cupboards before walking away again. It is unclear why the burglars chose to leave the trophy behind, when it was right there for the taking.
The BBC reports that a South Africa Rugby Union spokesperson said that all its trophies were safe following the close call.
South Africa won the Rugby World Cup on October 28 after they beat New Zealand in Paris, when they became the first country to win the tournament four times.
The team – and the country as a whole – celebrated the historic win with a four-day long victory tour, where they took part in parades across South Africa.
December 15 has also been declared a national holiday by President Cyril Ramaphosa to mark the success “in celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement”.
The close call could have lead to a recreation of the incident in which the 1966 football World Cup was stolen from an exhibition at Westerminster Central Hall following England’s win. A ransom note for £15,000 was also issued to ensure it’s safe turn.
A nationwide search began to recover the trophy – which had been insured for £30,000 – before it was eventually found a week later by Pickles the dog under a hedge in Beulah Hill, in south east London.