The Springboks have now completed their World Cup build up with a stunning 35 - 7 victory over their biggest rivals, the All Blacks. The Twickenham bulldozing was the momentum generator that the Bokke needed heading into the tournament. Whilst they may not have usurped Ireland for top spot, they will certainly have gotten a mental edge heading into their pool of death (B).
42 players gathered in Pretoria for nearly 6 weeks of preparation. They did battle in the Rugby Championship and a warm-up against Los Pumas before the squad was whittled down to 33 players and 5 members who travelled with to the UK. With the tests against Wales and New Zealand having been concluded, the 33 man World Cup side will head to Corsica for the last 12 days before the tournament gets underway.
This means that players like Handre Pollard and Lukhanyo Am will return to their club sides, Leicester Tigers and Sharks respectively, to commence their preseason prep. The 33 will set up shop in Corsica before moving to their home base in Toulon in preparation for facing Scotland on the 10th of September
“The Corsica camp will be ideal for the players to adapt to the conditions in France while fine-tuning our preparations for our first World Cup game. We reaped the rewards of spending time in Japan before the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and hopefully this camp will be equally beneficial in getting the players used to the climate and culture in France."
In light of the tournament kicking off, I have decided to take a stab at picking what I believe is the Springboks strongest 23 and the side that should ultimately face Scotland. I have stuck to the 33 members of the World Cup squad for obvious reasons. This was no easy task, and the Springbok depth in most positions is unreal.
Siya Kolisi (c)
Pieter-Steph Du Toit
Faf De Klerk
Willie Le Roux
Marco van Staden
I do believe Jasper would be in this 23 if it was later in the tournament, but Marco van Staden offers the cover for Siya whose game time needs to still be managed.
Don't forget to join us on Superbru for the World Cup, with pool code: SMOGDEAL