Summary: Springboks are the reigning World Rugby Champion, having won the Cup in 2019. With France 2023 drawing near, its fans are waiting to see the team make history. The article explores the Springboks journey to France in 2023.
One question that South Africa rugby team fans are asking is whether the Springboks will maintain the record. Together with the All Blacks of New Zealand, they are the only other team that has won the Rugby World Cup three times. They won it in 1995 when they hosted the tournament in an event that many still remember up to now. They united the country with their tremendous performance, humiliating the rugby giant, New Zealand, and went ahead to win more trophies in 2007 and 2019 beating England on both occasions.
The 1995 story was amazing, it transcends sports. Rugby fans recall the iconic edition and the final game between the Springboks and All Blacks in the presence of thousands of fans led by President Nelson Mandela. It was a unifying moment for a country that had been long divided along racial lines. Will the Springboks give the country another gift, this time as relief over a long period that the nation has experienced- the devastation of the COVID 19 pandemic. This is a question that will be answered in October 2023 as the country gets another opportunity to show its fans and the world at large that they are still the kings. Equally, people looking for the best sports betting app in South Africa will have France Rugby World Cup 2023 as a major event to bet on.
The current squad includes: Akker Van Der Merwe (Hooker), Andre Esterhuizen (center) Bongi Mbonambi (Hooker), Aphiwe Dyantyi(wing), Cheslin Kolbe (Wing), Cobus Reinach (Scrumhalf), Damian de Allende (Center), Damian Willemse (Flyhalf), Dillyn Lyeds (Fullback), Duane Vermeulen (Loose Forward), Eben Etzebeth (Lock) and Elton Jantjies (Flyhalf) among others. These and other players are expected to take South Africa towards the journey to 2023.
The squad that is expected to be named later this year, according to Rassie Erasmus, the SA director of rugby, will be larger than it has been in the past. This will be to accommodate the Springbok and South African A training schedules. The 45 team squad will provide the initial 23 who will play in several events all geared towards preparing the team for the major tournaments.
The squad will be trimmed to 35-37 players as the team prepares for the first Test. Jacques Nienaber, the Springbok coach, is upbeat that the squad will perform better as they have talented players on the waiting list. Among the names being mentioned in different quarters are Jasper Wiese who plays for Leicester, Cheslin Kolbe, Damian de Allende, Rynhardt Elstadt, players who have been doing very well in the past. The rugby management body is also looking at the local talent; players they describe as wonderful and promising. Three players from the 2019 World Cup squad have already retired while Lood de Jager, Warrick Gelant, and Snyman RG are down with injuries. There are several Tests and internationals which are lined up as the team prepares for the major events between now and the France World Cup in 2023. These events will also be used in culmination to picking the team to defend the title come 2023
South Africa RWC debut was in May 1995 where they played with Australia at Cape Town. The team has had 43 appearances, winning 36 and losing 7. According to sports analysts, any team challenging the current champions will have a hard task as the team is still in good form despite the long break which has been occasioned by the corona virus-related restrictions. With sporting activities across the world has kicked off in earnest, several matches are lined up. The latest statistics show that Springboks are at the top of the Men Rugby table with 94.2, followed by New Zealand which has 88.95 while England is third with 85.44 points.
In France 2023, Springboks have an opportunity to write history by becoming the only team to have won the cup four times. They will be returning to the same venue where they humiliated England to win the Ellis Cup for the second time. The big question that fans are asking is whether history will repeat itself with the great team of Rainbow Nation emerging as the winner in the tournament.
The event is two years away but preparations have already started. The qualification process for the event has already been announced. The process according to RWC is designed to promote regional strength as well as allowing the best teams to showcase in the event. Twelve out of the thirty-two teams that will participate in the event have already qualified. This is due to the fact that they finished top three in their respective pools in Rugby World Cup 2019. The 12 teams are South Africa (the defending champions), England, New Zealand, Wales, Japan, France (the host), Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, and Fiji. The remaining twenty places are to be determined by regional and cross-regional qualification, a process that should conclude with a 4 team round final qualifier tournament which will be held in November 2022 to determine the final qualifier. The events dates in 2021 are to be announced but are subject to how COVID 19 situation unfolds.
The qualification principles for France RWC 2023 are as follows:
- Americas will be represented by three teams with the two teams qualifying by September next year and the third team entering the final qualification
- Europe has six teams that have automatic qualification; the region has two more berths awarded to winners and runners-up in the Europe championship. The third-place team will advance as Europe 3 n the final qualification
- Africa has two slots with Africa 1 being taken by the winner of the continent championship while runners-up go to the final qualification.
- Oceania will have the home and away playoff determining who among Tonga and Samoa gets a direct qualification
- Asia and Pacific have their top-ranked team qualifying automatically and do not have another direct qualifying position. However, the 2021 region champion winning team will have an opportunity to qualify through the playoff against Oceania 2.
South Africa is still a great challenger in this contest, the team is still strong, come 2023, they will make their country and fans all over the world happy. They will be going into the tournament as the reigning champions and the favorite team. With the best sports betting app in South Africa, fans expect a double win, for their team and for the bets that they place.