This week’s preview is all about two time champions South Africa’s rugby team. Breaking down the Springboks’ journey to the Rugby World Cup 2019.
They approach the World Cup in somewhat mixed form and it’s difficult to know which South Africa will turn up on any given day. In 2018 they recorded victories over France, Scotland, Australia and notably New Zealand in their backyard, however at the same time they suffered several humbling defeats.
We’ll know a lot more about their form once this years shortened Rugby Championships is finished!
Last World Cup
The Springboks fell just short in the last world cup finishing in 3rd place having missed out on the final in a narrow Semis 18-20 defeat to the All Blacks. After their embarrassing defeat to Japan in the group stage they really grew into the tournament.
The Coach: Rassie Erasmus
It’s gonna be a big year for Erasmus, still new to the role of South Africa’s national coach which he took on in March last year, on top of being appointed SARU Director of Rugby at the end of 2017. Bringing with him a re-shaped Springbok strategy, Erasmus made it crystal clear that his team will be heading to Japan with only one intention: to lift that winning trophy, and nothing less.
Last year, Erasmus led the Springboks to 2nd place in the Rugby Championships - the highest point the team’s ever been in the competition, proving South Africa is one to look out for in this year’s World Cup.
The Captain: Siya Kolisi
One of South Africa’s star players, Kolisi made history last year by becoming the first ever black Springbok captain. The Stormers loose forward is deceptively quick and has incredible ball carrying skills to compliment their attack. The captain’s work at the break down is crucial to the team’s success and we expect him to lead by example.
The Key Player: Faf de Klerk
Faf has absolutely exploded on the International scene in the last couple of years. The miniature number 9 put in an outstanding performance against England in the Autumn Internationals including putting in a huge hit on Nathan Hughes. We predict the Sale Fans’ Player of the Season for 2018-19 will have a huge impact on the success of South Africa in Japan.
For us how far they go depends a lot on their group stage match with the All Blacks, if they can sneak a victory and win their group then they’re likely to be playing Scotland in the quarters. Get past them and who knows how far they’ll go!
Did you know?
Having been banned from the first 2 world cups, South Africa won the first one they ever competed in, in 1995!
Wanna watch the South Africa in action? Belushi’s Bars across Europe will be showing all of the key fixtures from the Rugby World Cup live on HD screens. Book your table on Belushis.com.
|New Zealand vs South Africa||Yokohama|
|Namibia vs South Africa||Toyota|
|Italy vs South Africa||Shizuoka|
|Canada vs South Africa||Kobe|
Written by Ben Kelly and Darcy King