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'The 16th Man' helped South Africa win 1995 Rugby World Cup

Just watched "The 16th Man," the latest in ESPN's "30 for 30" series.

It premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday and tells the story of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa and how Nelson Mandela leveraged the host nation's victory into a unifying force for the post-apartheid nation.

It is a great story told here in a more conventional, straightforward manner than most of the entries in the ESPN series.

The basics will be familiar to anyone who saw the dramatized version, "Invictus," in which Morgan Freeman plays Mandela.

Here we see the real Mandela, with narration by Freeman, who also is an executive producer.

I haven't seen "Invictus," but that's OK. I generally prefer the real thing.

Nothing against Matt Damon, but I'd rather hear from Francois Pienaar himself.

Tags: ESPN , rugby

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