2015 could be the year for the Springboks as a number of factors are coming together as they bid to reclaim the Rugby World Cup.
Everywhere you look in the current Springboks team you find bags full of experience. In the pack the likes of the du Plessis brothers, Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger who are perfectly complemented by the likes of Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers in the backline. There aren’t many other sides in the World Cup who can boast this level of experience.
2.A rock solid pack
It’s hard to think of another pack in World Rugby that is quite as strong as the current set of Springbok forwards. There is serious competition for places in almost every position, with only the second row providing any area of serious concern. One thing is for certain, and that is the Springbok pack won’t be getting bossed around.
3.A top class coach
The days of Peter de Villiers are now well behind the Springboks as they drive on under the leadership of Heyneke Meyer. Under his leadership, the team now look to be playing a very effective game plan, and have looked consistently solid barring a slight slip at the end of their Northern Hemisphere tour last year.
From the likes of Jesse Kriel and Handre Pollard in the backs to Franco Mostert and Marcell Coetzee in the pack, there is a decent crop of young players coming through for the Springboks who will be looking to press their claims ahead of the World Cup, and will ensure the elder statesmen don’t let their form slip.
5.The return of a fallen hero
When Jean de Villiers was carted off the Millennium Stadium pitch at the end of last year, it looked like his rugby career could be over. Despite this significant set back, he is now battling his way back to full fitness, and could be ready to step out again at the World Cup. The return of such an important player could provide the Boks with a welcome boost.
6.Threats from deep
The Springboks have always been known for their dominant pack, and power in the backs, however they also now have some exciting backs who can open up games. The likes of Willie le Roux and Handre Pollard can cut open defences, whilst Meyer could also potentially call on players like Gio Aplon for some extra pace in the backs.
7.An ability to compete with the best
The Springboks are one of the few sides in the world to have consistently challenged the All Blacks, whilst also recording wins over the other major nations over the last couple of years. That kind of big game experience, and winning mentality are sure to hold them in good stead when it comes to the latter rounds of the World Cup.