Connect with us

Rugby World Cup

Springboks Make One Change for RWC Final

South Africa have made one change to their starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup final against England this weekend

Published

on

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus has made only a single change to his starting XV for his side’s Rugby World Cup final against England in Japan on Saturday.

The only change comes in the back-line as a fit-again Cheslin Kolbe returns, replacing Sbu Nkosi on the right-wing. Kolbe’s return from an ankle injury is a massive boost for the Boks as he has the ability to tear open defences if given the opportunity. 

Otherwise it’s as you were from the 19-16 victory over Wales last weekend with Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe making up the front-row, with Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager slotting in behind them in the engine-room. 

In the back-row captain Siya Kolisi is at blindside-flanker in what will be his 50th cap, with Pieter-Steph du Toit at openside and Duane Vermeaulen behind the duo in No 8. 

The ever-impressive Faf de Klerk once again partners Handre Pollard in the half-back pairing, with Damian de Allende and Lukanyo Am outside them in the midfield. 

Try-scoring machine Makazole Mapimpi continues on the left-wing, with Kolbe returning to the right and Willie le Roux remains at full-back despite a poor outing in the semi-final. 

Erasmus has decided to continue with his six-two split between forwards and backs on the bench with the likes of Malcolm Marx, RG Snyman and Francois Louw available to come on and impact up front, while Frans Steyn will play in his second World Cup final against England after featuring in 2007 too. 

Speaking ahead of the game Erasmus admits he is expecting a big encounter between two evenly matched sides and told of how impressed he was by England last weekend. 

“We’ve played England four times in the last two years, and score is 2-2. The last test match that we played was a very close test at Twickenham. I know both teams have definitely improved since then. What I do expect on the field is a very well-coached England team. A fit England team with a great tactical plan, and then obviously the physicality that England brought to New Zealand was just next level last Saturday. It’s been a long time since I saw an England team pitch up with that amount of physicality. They must be brimming with confidence, and I’m sure they are ready to bring that same intensity. We will have to be really up to try and match that,” he said. 

As mentioned above this is a repeat of the 2007 World Cup final which South Africa came out on top in, and have history on their side having won the only other final they featured in after winning against the All Blacks in 1995. However, England head into the match as massive favourites following their demolition of the All Blacks last week and the Boks will need something special to win another Webb Ellis Cup. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements:

Malcolm Marx, Stephen Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn

Rugby World Cup

Women’s Rugby World Cup looks set to be postponed.

Published

on

World Rugby has made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September-16 October, until next year. The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on 8 and 9 March respectively.Play Video

While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family.

The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 landscape. It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.  

The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions. 

World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups.

Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee meetings next week.  

Statement Ends.

Continue Reading

Rugby World Cup

RWC 2023 Pools confirmed.

Published

on

Confirmed.

How the draw worked

As host nation, France was drawn first and placed randomly in one of the four pools. The teams were then drawn randomly from each band, starting with Band 5 (Africa 1, Oceania 1, Asia / Pacific 1, Final Qualifier Winner), then Band 4 (Americas 1, Americas 2, Europe 1, Europe 2), then Band 3 (Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy), then Band 2 (Ireland, (France), Australia, Japan) and finally Band 1 (South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales). The first drawn in each band was placed in Pool A, the second in Pool B, the third in Pool C and the fourth in Pool D.


Draw seedings

Twelve of the 20 teams qualified automatically by finishing in the top three places of their Rugby World Cup 2019 pool. These 12 teams are: South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy. Acknowledging the global COVID-19 impact on international rugby in 2020, these teams were seeded based on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings as of 1 January, 2020 and placed into the first three bands of four teams.

The remaining eight teams will come through the regional qualification process and were allocated for the draw into bands four and five based on relative strength. They are: Americas 1, Americas 2, Europe 1, Europe 2, Africa 1, Oceania 1, Asia / Pacific 1 and the Final Qualifier Winner.

Continue Reading

Rugby World Cup

Qualification process set for Rugby World Cup 2023

Published

on

Image from World Rugby
  • Process designed to promote regional strength and the best teams to rugby’s showcase event
  • 12 teams already qualified owing to top three pool placing at RWC 2019
  • RWC 2023 on track to be a spectacular celebration of rugby and France


World Rugby has announced details of the qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.

Following the most competitive and widely-acclaimed Rugby World Cup to date in Japan, the qualification process is designed to deliver the top teams in the world to rugby’s showcase tournament, while promoting a genuine opportunity for all unions.

With 12 teams having secured their place at France 2023 courtesy of finishing in the top three of their respective pools at RWC 2019, the remaining eight places will be determined by a process of regional and cross-regional qualifiers. The process will conclude with a four-team round-robin Final Qualification Tournament in November 2022 to determine the final qualifier.

The dates for events in 2021 will be announced in due course and will be subject to an anticipated easing of the COVID-19 situation.

The announcement follows consultation with unions and regions in January 2020 and a full review of performance at Rugby World Cup 2019, where rankings upsets and the impressive performances in particular of Japan, Fiji, Uruguay, Tonga and Georgia cut the performance gap, with the average winning margin between established and emerging unions decreasing in comparison with 2015 benchmarks.

The Americas will deliver two direct places, while Oceania will deliver a direct qualifier with a further direct place available following a play-off with Asia. The Rugby Europe Championship (two direct places), Rugby Africa Cup (one direct place) and Final Qualification Tournament (one direct place) will provide the other qualifiers. Further details are provided below.

RWC 2023 qualification principles

  • Americas: the Americas will qualify two teams by September 2022. The third best team in the region will enter the Final Qualification Tournament – Americas 1 & Americas 2
  • Europe: the existing Rugby Europe Championship will have two qualifying places, with the two best teams in March 2022 qualifying directly and the third placed entering the Final Qualification Tournament – Europe 1 & Europe 2 
  • Africa: the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 winner will qualify directly and the runner-up team will go to Final Qualification – Africa 1
  • Oceania: a home and away play-off between Tonga and Samoa in 2021 will determine the direct qualifier for the Oceania region. – Oceania 1
    The loser will then play the Oceania Rugby Cup 2021 winner in the highest ranked team’s country with the eventual winner contesting Asia / Pacific (see below) as Oceania 2
  • Asia / Pacific: the winner of the Asian Rugby Men’s Championship 2021 will play Oceania 2 home and away. The winner on aggregate will determine the qualifier and the loser will go to Final Qualification – Asia / Pacific 1
  • Final Qualification Tournament: the tournament in November 2022 will feature four teams playing in a round-robin format with the winner qualifying for RWC 2023 – Final Qualification winner


Teams already qualified: South Africa, England, New Zealand, Wales, Japan, France (host), Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, Fiji

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “With the global pandemic having halted most rugby activity, confirmation of the global qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2023 provides a beacon of excitement for all, including players and fans.

“The process that has been developed via full consultation with our regional associations and member unions will provide a genuine opportunity for full member unions to qualify for our showcase men’s 15s event.

“Maximising existing regional competitions, the process is good for regions and unions in managing costs for organisers and participants alike, which is important as we all recover from the global pandemic.

“On behalf of World Rugby, I’d like to wish all teams involved the best of luck on their journey to France 2023.”

Rugby World Cup France 2023 CEO Claude Atcher added: “This qualification process gives emerging unions an opportunity to take part in our sport’s biggest competition.

“The success of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan and performances by the host nation is a testimony of rugby’s expansion globally. As the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is about to be won, I welcome this optimistic prospect of reconnecting with the excitement of our sport. This is the start of our journey towards France 2023, which will be the best tournament ever delivered.”

Final details of the regional competition formats and dates will be announced in due course.

Official Press Release from World Rugby

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending