The Springboks’ plans to defend their Rugby World Cup title have entered the final stages.
The team are about to enter the final week ahead of the World Cup in France, where they play their opening pool stage match against Scotland in Marseille on Sunday, September 10th.
The Boks are aiming to become just the second team to successfully defend a World Cup and the first in history to win a fourth title.
The Springboks have been planning the defence of their World Cup crown for four years now. And with every step, there was a considered thought process behind their actions and this week in Corsica was no different.
It was a quick immersion into the conditions they would experience in the south of France, according to Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.
“We had a really good week here in Corsica, and obviously the main reason for us coming here was that we are in the Mediterranean and we get used to the conditions and the humidity, which is similar to Durban. There were two parts to this week, and the first was that it was the last top-up from a conditioning point of view before we go into the World Cup, and there will be small little breaks within the World Cup, but this was a nice week where we could have some solid conditioning work done with one eye on Scotland and get the majority of our stuff done for Scotland,” says Nienaboer.
The Springboks are the defending World Cup champions. Coming into the tournament off the back of a record win over New Zealand, you’d be forgiven for thinking everything seems to be going the way of the green and gold and while Nienaber does feel his team thrives in adversity, they have come to accept their mantle as favourites, by the not insignificant fact that they are the incumbent and three-time world champions…
“If you look at the world cup, we spoke about how close the world cup is, the contenders of the world cup and a lot of teams that are probably going to be in a position to win the world cup and believe they can win the world cup, so in terms of that, I think it is probably going to be the most tightly contested world cup in history. We always know that we are going to come into this world cup as the defending world champions. That is something we can’t hide away from, and you can’t shrug off. It is what it is. We are the current world champions, and we are comfortable with that because it is what it is.”
The Springboks’ World Cup begins now; their preparations for Scotland in Marseille on Sunday, the 10th of September, take centre stage and that’s how they will begin the defence of their World Cup crown.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com