Can The Boks Salvage 2015 For South Africa?
South Africans may still be trying to get over the Proteas bowing out of the 2015 Cricket World Cup yet again, but we still have hope for glory this year – in the form of the Rugby World Cup!
The Springboks have already climbed to the top of the world on two occasions – having lifted the prestigious William Webb Ellis trophy in 1995 and 2007.
Arguably South Africa’s biggest rivals, New Zealand, were deserved champions in the last instalment of the tournament, which took place in their own backyard.
In the 2007 tournament, the Boks overcame England 15-6 in the final, but when looking to defend the title, they fell short at the quarter-final stage – losing 11-9 to Australia.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to run from 18 September to 31 October, and will be hosted in England.
The Springboks will play their first match of the group stages, against Japan, on Saturday 19 September – and are in Pool B, which also features Samoa, Scotland and USA.
Defending champions New Zealand are in Pool C, along with Argentina, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia.
Pool A is arguably the ‘Group of Death’, as it features Australia, England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay, while Pool D is also fairly tough – with France, Ireland, Italy, Canada and Romania competing for a place in the knockout rounds.
The quarter-finals will start on Saturday 17 October, with the semi-finals set for the following weekend. The final will take place at the historic Twickenham on Saturday 31 October.
Host cities for the event include Birmingham. Brighton, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle to name just a few, and tickets are available to purchase through the tournament’s official website.
It hasn’t been the best of years for South Africa when it comes to the major sporting codes, considering that the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, were also dumped out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations at the group stages – so let’s hope that the Springboks can turn our fortunes around by putting up a royal fight in England.