The Springboks are ready to take on the Rugby World Cup 2015. They will be playing in venues that are usually the hallowed ground of football fanatics.
In the past few months, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of these grounds. Football critics are worried about the damage 22 heavy-set men will cause to the pristine football pitches.
INBOUND: The springboks will be playing across various venues around the UK. In group B, they will be facing Japan, Scotland, Samoa and the USA.
Tonight is the opening of the highly anticipated world cup, with the Boks playing their first match tomorrow, are armed with the right details?
The world awaits: The rugby world cup will kick off in London tonight, with Twickenham stadium the stage for opening game. Photo: David Rogers.
The 2015 Rugby world cup will kick off tonight, when hosts England will face Fiji at 21:00.
The opening ceremony will start at 20:00 and will tell the story of the sport’s birth. Expected to be included is the story of William Webb Ellis, who in 1823 picked up a football and started running with it and is often credited as the creator of the sport.
Today the world cup’s trophy is named the Webb Ellis Cup. The show is expected to last 20 minutes and will end 40 minutes before the first match will kick off.
South Africa will play their first game tomorrow against Japan. All South Africa’s pool games are scheduled to take place at 17:45 making it convenient for most of us to catch the game.
Also joining us in Pool B will be Samoa, USA and Scotland. Most predictions point to us progressing from the group stages. But the problem starts after that. With their being a very good chance that we will be facing either hosts England or Australia in the quarter-finals, or perhaps even New-Zealand in the semi-finals.
If this is the case many believe the finals might be too predictable an outcome with all the tension placed in the previous rounds.
The obvious teams to keep an eye on are Australia and England in Pool A, New-Zealand, Argentina, France.
This will be the 4th World Cup for veteran Boks Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield. It was clear at their welcoming event, last Sunday, that the team have supporters backing them in England. More than a hundred people were stranded when the venue in Eastbourne reached full capacity, as crowds fill the stadium to cheer on the Boks.
Agency for New Agenda only used the application to bar the Springboks from the World Cup as a ‘tactic’ to get SARU and the Minister of Sport to talk about transformation.
Agency for New Agenda leader, Tshidiso Mokhoanatse in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday, after withdrawing his application to bar the Springboks from leaving the country. Photo: Anlerie de Wet
Agency for New Agenda withdrew their application to bar the Springboks from going to the Rugby World Cup, at the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday.
The relatively unknown political party’s leader, Tshidiso Mokhoanatse made an urgent order to the court last week to keep the national rugby team from participating in the World Cup in England later this month, arguing that the South African Rugby Union hasn’t met transformation requirements.
“The application was just a tactical move to get them [SARU] to work with us,” said Mokhoanatse.
He said he wants the Springboks to go to the World Cup, but SARU and the Minister of Sport must come to the table when it comes to transformation.
Although the interdict against the Boks has been withdrawn, the ANA still wants the court to order that communities must be allowed to get involved in the transformation process of the sport -as set out in Rule 16A.
Mokhoanatse said the ANA sees today as a victory as it is a step closer to their goal to “remove the authority in charge to make way for the constitution.”
The matter of ANA’s order on Rule 16A will be settled outside the court at a later date, giving the Boks need to prepare on a camp this weekend and ultimately participate in the World Cup.
WITH less than a month before the Rugby World Cup takes flight in New Zealand, the Springboks need the whole nation, now more than ever, to stand behind them in their quest to defend the world title.
The world champions were recently outclassed 40-7 and 39-20 respectively by traditional rivals New Zealand and Australia in their opening games of the Tri-Nations competition. Even though injuries to key players have restricted coach Peter de Villiers from fielding his strongest line-up, there is evidently a lot of work still to be done by the technical staff before the first game of the title defence on September 11, against Wales.
To add to the world champions’ woes, the recently launched “Springbok Friday”, an initiative encouraging South Africans to show support for the Boks by wearing the team’s match jersey on Fridays, has been given minimal attention.
In comparison to “Football Friday”, a similar initiative during the 2010 Soccer World Cup to support Bafana Bafana, which was overwhelmingly supported by millions, including students, there are hardly any green Boks shirts in sight on Wits campus and the surrounding Johannesburg areas.
With two more return leg Tri-Nations matches scheduled against Australia in Durban tomorrow and the following Saturday against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth, there is a perception that the Boks need to score consecutive wins to build confidence heading to the World Cup.
However, De Villiers said on Supersport.com that the essential issue for the team in the two games before the World Cup is “to get our systems going and then building into it after that”.
De Villiers said there are two things that the team needs to work hard on in the next two weeks, firstly to show an improvement in defence and, secondly, to be more sharp in attack.
A “killer instinct” is what he said needs to be developed by the Springboks if they are to return from New Zealand in October having successfully defended the most prestigious trophy in world rugby. With the support of the entire nation, the Boks can certainly do it. Good luck, Bokke!