BIG READ: Uncertain future for Springboks after Rugby World Cup triumph

Erasmus Springboks’ Rassie

At the trophy ceremony following the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the suburbs of Paris, on October 28, 2023, South Africa’s director, Rassie Erasmus, congratulates fly-half Handre Pollard of South Africa.

Although South Africa defeated New Zealand to win their record-tying fourth Rugby World Cup, things don’t seem good for the Springboks.

After winning their record-breaking fourth Rugby World Cup, South Africa defeated New Zealand 12–11, but the Springboks’ future appears uncertain as key players and coaches are expected to depart following the historic victory.Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will be without two of his lieutenants from the two World Cup successes as cunning head coach Jacques Nienaber departs for the Irish province of Leinster and highly regarded assistant Felix Jones heads to England.

With the Springboks in ruins, Erasmus and Nienaber were appointed in 2018, and over the next four years, they have led the team to two Webb Ellis Cups.

Following the All Blacks victory, Springboks fullback Damian Willemse praised Nienaber, saying, “The boss, he gave everything he could.”

“When everyone was writing us off and saying the Springboks weren’t good enough, he took us from being ranked six or seven in the world.” National jerseys were being set on fire.

“We’ll bless him and send him on his way. He had taken every action that was possible.

This campaign has been replete with innovative coaching concepts from Nienaber and Erasmus.

They faced criticism for selecting too many scrumhalves in their World Cup roster, starting seven forwards on the bench rather than the customary five or six, and skillfully using substitutes in their knockout victories against France and England.

They utilized a single specialized hooker for their last five games in the competition.Willemse remarked, “They always take these calculated risks.”

“They debate for hours on end and never enter a situation or make a decision without thinking.”

A vintage Springbok pack of cards

Erasmus, a former back-rower for the Springboks, will face a totally different team during the upcoming World Cup cycle.

When the competition in Australia gets underway, every member of the starting front pack against the All Blacks will be 35 years of age or older.Veteran No. 8 Duane Vermeulen is scheduled to retire, and in four years, player-of-the-match Pieter-Steph du Toit and iconic captain Siya Kolisi are unlikely to be at the top of their game.

After kicking four penalties in the championship game, flyhalf Handre Pollard commented, “It will be interesting to see what happens.”

A number of the guys we know are going to be around for a while, in fact, quite a few of them.

The 29-year-old continued, “We’re going to be a lot older going forward.”


Completed After the team’s victory in Japan, Willie le Roux, who turned 34 in August, experienced a change in his role and would likely face difficulties making the squad in Australia.

As Erasmus began to look ahead to the future, Willemse, 25, was preferred as the starting player in the No. 15 shirt in France.

Willemse stated, “I don’t think there’s anyone I would have liked to learn about Test rugby from.”

In the past ten years, he has significantly improved South African rugby; I doubt any backline player will be able to match his achievements.

“To Willie, I tip my hat.”Just Willemse, scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, and winger Canan Moodie—three of the 35 players Nienaber picked up for the World Cup—are 25 years of age or younger.

Flyhalf Manie Libbok turned 26 in July, but Pollard was upbeat about what lay ahead for the player who was the team’s first-choice playmaker until he took over for the championship.

“It’s amazing the talent we have in some positions, Canan Moodie, Manie Libbok, I think we have a great core of young guys coming through,” Pollard stated.

“If we can make the transition into the next four years, it’s going to be really exciting.”

“It’s going to be massive going forward, the young guys have so much experience having been here,” he continued.

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