It is time for South Africa to once again get behind the Springboks in their campaign to be the first team to win the Web Ellis trophy for the third time, having been winners in 1995 and 2007. The 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off on the 18th of September when hosts England takes on Fiji. The Springbok’s first game is against Japan on the 19th of September.
The Springbok Team
The Springbok team has displayed some mix performances over the last four years. They suffered three straight defeats in the 2015Rugby Championship, which saw them drop from 2nd to 5th position on the World Rankings.
In recent times the Boks had to evolve their game plan in an effort to catch the All Blacks. Although this has led to some notable performances by the Boks, the gap between them and the All Blacks are still quite substantial. The All Blacks have won three Rugby Championships in the last four years and have beaten the Boks in six of their last seven encounters.
But Springboks supporters can take heart in their team’s recent record in the Northern Hemisphere. The Boks have won eight of their last ten matches in this region. This includes two victories against 2015 World Cup hosts England. The Boks will fancy their chances if they meet England in the quarter finals or even the finals.
The Springbok team will most likely finish top of Group B over Scotland, Japan, USA and Samoa. Their toughest challenge should come from Samoa and the Boks will want to minimize injuries from what is surely the be a physical encounter.
The Springbok Team Captain
Early in 2012 coach Heyneke Meyer was forced to give the captaincy to Jean De Villiers due to the unavailability of Victor Matfiels, Fourie Du Preez and Schalk Burger. De Villiers thrived in his role as captain and was retained even when Matfield, Burger and Du Preez became available again.
In November 2014 De Villiers sustained a potential career-ending knee injury. Fortunately for South Africa he regained his fitness and place in the team despite a fractured jaw that kept him out for another month.
The Springbok Team Coach
Heyneke Meyer was selected as Springbok team coach on the back of an excellent record with the Bulls. Under him the Bulls won four Currie Cup competitions from 2002 to 2006, and a Super Rugby title in 2007. Since being handed the job as coach in 2012 Meyer has been building his team and the Boks have won 65% of their games. Under Meyer the Springbok team has failed to win a Rugby Championship title and he will be eager to bag his first big trophy at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Springbok Team Group B Matches
19 September vs Japan at 17:45
26 September vs Samoa at 17:45
3 October vs Scotland at 17:45
7 October vs USA at 17:45
SA Rugby World Cup Special Edition