The Springboks made history in October when they became the first South African side to win back-to-back World Cups, and the first nation to win four global titles overall.
On a longer timeline, however, the sport should be bolstering the women’s and men’s programmes to the point where both national teams are primed to peak at their next respective World Cup tournaments, in 2025 and 2027.
Over the past six years the Boks have established themselves as the gold standard across South African sport – in their results, their approach to high performance and their attitude towards transformation.
As many have observed in the wake of their most recent World Cup triumph in France, they have shown politicians in this country what real leadership looks like.
There’s a fear that complacency – and the defection of head coach Jacques Nienaber to Irish club Leinster – may dilute their potency in 2024. But director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is already putting plans in place to ensure that the side continues to win more accolades, and possibly an unprecedented hat-trick of world titles in 2027.
Apart from a one-off against Portugal, the Boks couldn’t have asked for a tougher home schedule in 2024. The season will commence with a two-Test series against Ireland in July, followed by the Rugby Championship, which will include two home matches against the All Blacks.
Ireland have dominated world rugby for the better part of two years, and beat the Boks 13-8 when the two giants collided in the pool stages of the recent World Cup. They will be desperate to secure their first series victory in South Africa, while the Boks – who haven’t beaten Ireland since 2016 – will also have a point to prove.
Beyond that, the Boks will be chasing their first Rug
…. to be continued
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