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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter


Winning World Cup will require a squad effort, says Bok boss Nienaber

The Boks are now in Toulon after spending last week training in Corsica.


The preparations for the Rugby World Cup are done and dusted, and it is now all systems go for the Springboks who, as defending champions, will look to go back-to-back when the tournament gets underway in France on Friday.

The Boks are in Pool B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Romania and Tonga, with their opening match against the Scots in Marseille next Sunday.

This week saw Jacques Nienaber’s side wrap up their preparations on the island of Corsica before heading to their “home base” in Toulon. Nienaber elaborated on what their camp in Corsica was aimed at achieving.

Scotland match

“There were two parts to this week; the first is that it was our last stop from a conditioning point of view before we go into the World Cup, and then, obviously, we kept one eye on the Scotland game and getting the majority of our matchday stuff done and dusted,” said Nienaber.

Nienaber has previously stated that the clash against the Scots is the most important in the group stages. With Scotland having a lot of South African influence, the match promises to be intense.

Sharing his thoughts on Scotland, Nienaber said he expects them to be well-prepped in the set pieces thanks to their scrum coach Pieter de Villiers.

“If you look at Scotland, they’re quite a fit team and that’s why they can get stuck in and play their game, which they’re comfortable with until the 85th minute; that is probably one of their strengths,” said Nienaber.

“We all know Pieter de Villiers, they have good solid set pieces to play with the amount of ball they have and rhythm they have, to run the ball out wide, you need solid set pieces.”

Bok depth

Because of the strength in depth in the Boks squad, the selection of the team that will do battle against Scotland will provide a headache for the Springboks’ management, but Nienaber feels the depth they have created is the only difference between now and the last World Cup in 2019.

“When we started in 2018, there was limited time in terms of being prepared for that World Cup, there were like 18 Test matches. This time around we have had four years, but one year was unfortunately taken away from us due to Covid-19.

“Our aim was to get as much squad depth as we could and we believe that the defending of the World Cup will take a squad effort and that’s what we were trying to do, trying to create as much depth in the squad.”

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