South African rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus saw in the new year with only one thing on his mind, it seems: defending the World Cup next year.
The social media-loving Erasmus, who is currently serving a ban by World Rugby for a video he made criticising the match officials in the first Test between the Springboks and British and Irish Lions last July, put out two tweets in the early hours of 1 January 2022, showing just how focused the director of rugby is on winning the world title again next year.
The Boks, against all odds, won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, beating England in the final.
After a 2020 of no rugby because of the coronavirus, the Boks returned to action in 2021, winning the series 2-1 against the Lions and also beating New Zealand away from home.
The Boks will properly start their preparations for France 2023 later this year.
Eramsus initially said on twitter: “I know!! Don’t tweet after 24h00!! Happy new year to all out there!! Not my words but I do believe in it, ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.’ I hope we smash 2022 together.”
Erasmus followed up that tweet with another, focusing on the defence of the World Cup title. In it he says South Africans should now forget about 2019 and focus fully on 2023.
The Springboks, despite an up and down 2021, finished the year as the world’s number one ranked team. They will be in action again in the middle of the year when Wales visit South Africa, before returning to the Rugby Championship and an end-of-year tour to Europe.