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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Boks not favourites, England not underdogs, says Mbonambi

The match in Paris is a repeat of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final in Japan, which the Boks won.

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi says the Springboks don’t view England as underdogs ahead of their Rugby World Cup semi-final clash at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night.

There’s a lot of history between South Africa and England at the World Cup, and Saturday evening’s match is sure to add to that rich history.

The clash at the Stade de France will see the winners and runner-up of the 2019 World Cup final battle it out for a place in this year’s final.


Both teams head into the game with momentum on their side; the Boks are coming off an impressive performance against hosts France in the quarter-final while England are undefeated in the tournament so far.

However, the Springboks have the favourites tag going into the clash with England being the underdogs. Speaking to the media on Friday, Mbonambi said it’s disrespectful to call England underdogs.

“I don’t think we’ve ever mentioned England as underdogs,” Mbonambi said.

“I take it to be very disrespectful to them, to mention them as underdogs. We don’t look at ourselves as favourites.”

2019 revenge

England are said to be driven by the prospect of getting revenge for the 32-12 loss in the 2019 World Cup final in Yokohama.

Mbonambi believes the emotions that England will have before the match will only last for the opening 20 minutes.

“We’ve heard a lot, and obviously people are talking about them looking for revenge … how they see the game is up to them.

“For us, we don’t play on emotion … because I believe emotions only last for 20 minutes and you can burn yourself out,” he said.

The winners will take on New Zealand in the final next weekend at the same venue. The All Blacks booked their place in the final with a 44-6 win over Argentina on Friday night.