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7 Reasons to look forward to the Boks vs Ireland at Newlands

The time has come for the Springboks to take the stage under a new coach and a new ethos.

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By Yanga Qinga for connectsportsacademy

No country for old men

It’s out with the old and in with the new. The tried and tested have reached the time to be rested. The best way to bid our outgoing heroes farewell is to develop a new generation of players to take us to the summit of world rugby in time for 2019.

The rugby gods have availed us a breath of fresh air to inhale. We have a new backline coach in the legendary Sevens World Series-winning captain, Mzwandile Stick. The winds of change have never blown this ferociously in South African rugby.


Move aside Optimus Prime, our transformers are captained by Optimus Strauss – a proven leader at franchise level having transformed into a Cheetahs, Bulls and now Springbok leader. New skipper aside we have a host of fresh-faced players, their minds firmly set on becoming Springbok legends themselves.

For the first time in our history, a match day 23 is on the verge of being selected on pure merit. Consider Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks that went to the 2015 Rugby World Cup had eight black players in a 31-man squad. Allister Coetzee’s squad of 31 has upped the ante with 33% more black players of quality.

World class players

There are top players in Coetzee’s squad and we can only hope their influence can help the rest rise to the occasion. We’re hoping to see a transformed style of rugby with the new era that’s being ushered in – ball-in-hand rugby that is expansive and skilful.

Digging deep

A genuinely exciting prospect when looking into the Incoming Tour is the depth the Springboks have for every position. We have two eager and excellent scrum halves in Faf De Klerk and Rudi Paige, not to mention a wealth of skilful fly halves.

Pieter Steph du Toit has had a ferocious Super Rugby campaign thus far, as has Warren Whiteley. The thought of seeing these two seasoned players coming off the bench to boss the breakdown is one to be relished.

The A-Team

You needn’t have been raised on a steady diet of B A Baracus and his co-conspirators to appreciate Johan Ackermann’s mercenaries. This is the team that is a true conduit to our Springboks and provides a great opportunity for our aspiring Boks to cut their teeth. As things stand, four Springboks have been drafted to be a part of the A-Team tour de force. You know the next step from the A-Team is into the green and gold jersey.

We’re especially looking forward to seeing how Sikhumbuzo Notshe goes, given his journey to the top started with our current junior partners, Vusa Academy.

Hometown heroes

A number of the Springboks have a glorious opportunity to show their Newlands faithful some gratitude for the unwavering support over the season. While we will be shouting ourselves hoarse for every player in green and gold, rest assured that we’ll be saving the loudest cheers for our Western Province and Stormers heroes: Messrs Malherbe, Etzebeth, Kolisi, De Allende, Mbonambi and Du Toit.

Looks good going forward

There’s isn’t much that Allister Coetzee has to tinker with over the course of the three-match series and many selected players can expect a run in the side, especially if we can wrap up the series within two games.

This new Springbok era shows a whole lot of promise. It’s exciting to see the potential that can begin our journey all the way to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and beyond.