The gees for the Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC) is riding high on the streets of Cape Town as the nation gets ready to witness the Springboks go head to head with Fiji at Brighton Community Stadium, England this Saturday.
For the first time in Springbok rugby history, South Africa will meet Japan in a Test match. Japan has qualified for all previous tournaments since 1987, while South Africa’s inaugural tournament was in 1995.
South Africa’s 25 wins for a win percentage of 86.2% out of the 29 RWC matches played has allowed it to gain the support of the nation. This is the highest winning percentage of all 20 teams involved in this tournament. It is no surprise that the faith of Boks supporters has not shaken, despite increased debate over transformation in the sport. There has been widespread criticism against the Boks coach Heyneke Meyer for not selecting more players of colour in the Springbok squad. The current 31 man team has eight players of colour.
“The Springboks can make it out of this pool for the World Cup. The strongest player is The Beast a.k.a Tendai. Let’s go Bokke! Let’s go,” says Sipho.
“I’m confident in our boys they will bring it home because they got the gees. Go Bokke yeah,” says Putsile.
“I support the Springboks because I believe in my country and its ability. They can do it,” Michael.
“I support South Africa. This is my country. My favourite player is Bryan Habana,” says Secoba.
According to experts, has favoured experience over younger talented players.
The starting team boasts a combined total of 880 Test caps, eclipsing the previous most experienced side (836 caps), which played in the Springboks’ last Rugby World Cup match against Australia in Wellington, New Zealand in 2011.
“The Springboks will bring this cup home. They will win this game hands down. They play very well. They could even win it with only pens and cons as they have strong players. It is guaranteed to get them over enough tries,” says Muhammad Sharief.
“I support South African rugby as this is our winning support that brings our nation together. Our boys will bring the cup home as they have the confidence of their supporters and this nation,” says Pumlanie.
“I’m South African I support the Springboks. They are unbeatable. Go Bokke,” says Mariam.
“The Springboks has my support as they are tough and the team has some of the best players. Flying the flag for South African rugby,” Haroon.
“The reason I support the Boks is because I’m truly South African. Just look at their number of wins in the past,” says Mawetu.
The game kicks off at 19:30 on SABC 2. For those wanting to experience rugby fever festivity can visit the Absa Bokstown at The V &A Waterfront to catch a live screening of the game. The World Cup takes place between 19 September and 31 October 2015.
The player line-up this Saturday:
Springboks – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis,1BeastMtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 JP Pietersen.
Japan – 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kotaro Matsushima, 10 Kosei Ono, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 MasatakaMikami.
Subs: 16 Takeshi Kazu, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Amanaki Mafi, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Karne Hesketh. VOC