The biggest event on the Rugby calendar is a few days out, and many supporters are discussing their team's chances in the Rugby World Cup. Throughout all of the discussions, the most common theme is that the All Blacks are the favourites to defend their title, and be the first team to win three Webb Ellis Cups in a row. While it is certain that New Zealand will always be a threat in any tournament, this year's World Cup does not seem to be so easy to give to the All Blacks in the lead up.
As we gear up for the biggest event on the rugby calendar, people all over traditional and social media debate the various teams' chances in Japan, and how each team should stack up throughout the tournament. In the first of a number of previews and profiles of the top teams in this year's World Cup, I look at the Springboks and their form and depth running into the showcase in Japan.
This weekend will see the final preparation matches ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan at the end of September. One of the most influential matches of the weekend will take place in Dublin, as Ireland and Wales will clash in their second match in two weeks; a match which can have great ramifications for the much debated official World Rankings.
After the announcement of the 31-man Springbok Squad on Monday, it is clear that Rassie Erasmus' chargers are filled with talent and depth. This makes it more challenging for the head of SA Rugby to select a first choice starting lineup heading into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
With the Springbok squad Rugby World Cup announcement just a day away, and with media all over South Africa speculating about which one out of the current 32-man squad will miss out, I thought I should add my voice into the conversation. With just 31 places available in the Rugby World Cup 2019 squad, competition for all places is fierce, and provides a positive selection headache for the Bok coach for the first time since the last World Cup.
While the majority of the country was swept up in election-fever, South African sports fans were outraged by the decision made by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Court of Arbitration on Wednesday 1 May, stating that athletes competing in the 800m sprints must be within a certain testosterone level to compete in women’s events. This directly affected Caster Semenya, who has naturally-elevated testosterone levels.
After the release of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report on transformation in South Africa on Tuesday 23 April, the question of transformation in sport, youth development and sporting infrastructure was once again brought to the fore. While the focus seems to be on the number of top level athletes in various sporting codes forming a representative number of the population, it has to be acknowledged that in order truly transform sport, more emphasis is needed on athlete identification and development, as well as infrastructure building and maintenance.
After their famous victory over the All Blacks on Saturday 17 November, Ireland have undoubtedly closed the gap on the best team in the world. In fact, some argue that they have overtaken New Zealand as the front-runners in world rugby, for a number of reasons. The men from the emerald isle have garnered a … Continue reading All Blacks no longer “all that”
The Springboks slumped to a negative win-loss record under head coach Rassie Erasmus on Saturday 3 November, after a controversial call from referee Angus Gardner at the end of the match allowed England to take home a 12-11 victory in Twickenham. South Africa had dominated all aspects of the match against their hosts in the … Continue reading Springboks wrap
Two senior sports administrators based in Grahamstown say the improved transformation targets hailed by Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa this week are empty. Xasa released the Eminent Person’s Group (EPG) Transformation Report in Pretoria on Monday 7 May. During the announcement of the report, she praised the progress made by a number of federations … Continue reading Local administrators look to schools for transformation