South Africa rugby has been on an upwards climb after disappointing 2017 and 2018 seasons where they lost to Wales, England, Argentina, and Ireland. But this year, the Springboks are having an extremely successful 2019, and are one of the favorites to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Most gambling sites agree that South Africa has the third best odds to win it all, behind New Zealand and England. Sure, the All Blacks are dominant and England is solid, but we think South Africa is better. Here are three reasons why South Africa will be hoisting the Webb Ellis Cup on November 2, 2019.
1. They won the 2019 Rugby Championship
South Africa won the 2019 Rugby Championship, a tournament which includes New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Argentina. They beat Australia and Argentina comprehensively, along with a hugely exciting match against New Zealand which ended in a 16-16 draw. Herschel Jantjies, in his second appearance for South Africa in the match, scored a try in the 79th minute which gave the side a historic draw.
Rassie Erasmus has an extremely good coaching resume. He won the Currie Cup in 2005 and 2006 during his time with the Free State Cheetahs and finished as runner up in the 2010 Super 14 with the Stormers. Erasmus has been the South Africa head coach since 2018, after leaving the Munster Rugby team in 2017. While at Munster, Erasmus finished as runner up in the Pro12 and received the Manager of the Season award.
In Erasmus’ first year with South Africa, the change was visible. The side finished as runners up to New Zealand in the Rugby Championship and the Springboks looked like their former self. The National team then went up another level as they won the 2019 Rugby Championship with improvement to the side being extremely visible.
3. South Africa rugby has a wide group of players who are extremely hungry for success
South Africa seems to have things clicking for them at the right time. They have young players like 23 year-old Herschel Jantjies who finished as the top try scorer in the 2019 Rugby Championship despite only having three caps to his name. Influential leader Siya Kolisi is their captain and is one of the best blindside flankers in the world. They also have solid forwards including Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth.
It won’t be easy for any country to dethrone New Zealand. The All Blacks are looking to bring home a record third straight Cup and fourth overall. However, South Africa has a ton of talent, they’re well coached, and they come into the tournament with a ton of momentum.
Not to mention South Africa is in a relatively easy Pool B that includes New Zealand, Italy, Namibia, and Canada. Expect South Africa and New Zealand to advance to the quarterfinals. Will South Africa bring home their third World Cup trophy? We’ll all find out soon.