In 2019 the daily life was turned upside down in South Africa. The country prevailed against the statistically equal English in the final of the Rugby World Cup and won the match with 32:12. With this, South Africa stuck to an old tradition. So far, the country has won this world championship three times, but every twelve years. After the successes in 1995 and 2007, the third title followed in 2019. When the time finally came, the country’s new folk hero sank onto the lawn. Siya Kolisi had dismantled England with the Springboks in the final of the World Cup in Japan. A tactical feat led to a clear victory; in a mercilessly intense final, the dreams of the English burst before Prince Harry’s eyes. Kolisi admitted after the game that he felt the whole country behind him. The captain also attributed the victory to the team spirit.
England Had No Chance
While the players celebrated, his predecessor cheered in the stands. Francois Pienaar had led South Africa to its first title in 1995. He had even made it to film fame in the meantime. Hollywood star Matt Damen played his role in the film Invictus, which adapted the events of that time. South Africa’s third triumph came as a surprise. Because England had eliminated the top favourites New Zealand from the tournament, the British had no chance against the dominant South African team. They were consistently kept in check and also struggled with bad luck with injuries. For the captain, the victory was a particular satisfaction. His appointment as the first black captain in his teams’ history had caused quite a stir. But now, he has impressively confirmed his work and underlined that he wants to represent all people.
The opening match of the Rugby World Cup in France will start on September 8, 2023. While the fans are already counting the days, the draw took place at the end of last year. Celebrity chef Guy Savoy showed a good hand. He made sure that France meets New Zealand in the group stage of the world’s second-largest sporting event. After all, France has decided to host the largest and most spectacular World Cup of all time. The tournament is supposed to break all attendance records. As in Japan before, France will have to face New Zealand in the group stage.
That promises a lot of excitement. An old rivalry continues with it. Twelve teams are already firmly qualified due to their placement among the top three in the last World Cup group stage. Eight other teams can secure a ticket. The defending champion from South Africa will meet the teams from Ireland, Scotland and a qualifier from the Pacific region in his group B. That could either be Samoa or Tonga. Ticket sales for the Rugby World Cup have already started. The run on this should be enormous. South Africa will then have the chance to defend its title.